Our Purpose

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Who We Are
The Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment (IGEE) was launched in 2017 at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea to contribute to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by integrating various missionary and volunteer activities within the University, directing intellectual and human resources to address social issues, and educating the next generation of global citizens. IGEE works within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals.


  • Seoung Hwan Suh
    Seoung Hwan Suh
    President, Yonsei University
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    Seoung Hwan Suh

    President, Yonsei UniversitySeoung Hwan Suh

    Yonsei University is actively contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through founding the Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE) in 2017 based on the Christian spirit and the founder's will during the last 135 years of Yonsei history. Yonsei University has consistently contributed to the social engagement sector based on our core value of 'Engagement' and was recognized as one of the world's leading engaged universities in the Times Higher Education (THE) university impact ranking 2019. Based on our capacity and experience, Yonsei University will continue to strive to achieve SDGs as a responsible member of Korean society and the international community. In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we aim for ‘Leaving no one behind’ and sustainable community through the sharing of the Republic of Korea's best practices and knowledge of COVID-19 quarantine towards foreign countries. Yonsei University will continue to contribute to the sustainable development of our society and the globe based on cooperation with Yonsei University Health System (YUHS) and relevant organizations by integrating our expertise and resources of the entire Yonsei University members. As Korea's leading university for social engagement, hereby asking you to co-participate in Yonsei University's proceed on truth and freedom so that we can fulfill our social responsibilities and engagement.

  • Young-Ryeol Park
    Young-Ryeol Park
    Chairman, IGEE
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    Chairman, IGEEYoung-Ryeol Park

    Yonsei University is started with medical and educational projects in 1885, which were started by missionaries Horace N. Allen, and Horace G. Underwood during their stay in Korea. For 135 years, Yonsei University has contributed to Korea’s development by supporting the independence and modernization of Korea during Japanese colonization and bearing the responsibility to democratize and modernize the country after the Korean War. We keep following the spirits of Yonsei based on Christianity and have opened the Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment(IGEE) to further facilitate the sustainable development of humanity and the earth. Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, cooperation, the coexistence of diverse entities, and adopting innovative approaches are more important than ever before. The IGEE shall endeavor to train innovative leaders who are ready to solve the problems of the earth and humanity with a flexible and active attitude in a dynamic environment.

What We Do

YONSEI UNIVERSITY Institute for Global Engagement igee
  • Networking Information
    Identify, utilize and link academic and human resources available in Yonsei University

    Networking Information

    Yonsei University has about 40,000 students; over 5,000 faculty members; and about 120 research centers. The Severance Hospital, which is part of the Yonsei Healthcare System, is one of the leading medical institutions in Korea. IGEE plans to identify and utilize its academic and human resources, and find ways to realize their full potential.


    • Yonsei Social Engagement Survey
    • Yonsei Social Resource Bank
  • Collaborative Engagement
    Connect academic expertise to field work

    Collaborative Engagement

    After identifying Yonsei’s human and academic resources through Networking Information, IGEE connects the resources with ongoing social engagement and volunteer activities to promote Collaborative Engagement.


  • Education & Research
    Educate global citizens and leaders in sustainable development
    Foster research on SDGs

    Education & Research

    IGEE educates thousands of Yonsei students to be the next generation of global citizens and promotes research on sustainable development.


  • Transformative Messaging
    Increase public awareness of SDGs Promote partnerships and cooperation

    Transformative Messaging

    By spreading relevant messages related to the SDGs, IGEE strives to increase public awareness of sustainable development. IGEE also hosts the annual Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF) to evaluate and provide solutions for the implementation the SDG.



  • 1885
    Chejungwon Established
    (Later Renamed Severance Hospital)
  • 1915
    Yonhi College Founded
  • 1957
    Severance & Yonhi College Merge to Become Yonsei University
  • 2017
    IGEE Established
Horace G. Underwood, Dr. Horace Newton Allen, Dr. Oliver R. Avison
  • Horace G. Underwood
    Founder of Underwood School
  • Dr. Horace Newton Allen
    Founder of Chejungwon
  • Dr. Oliver R. Avison
    First Head of Chejungwon
    Founder of Severance Hospital

Since 1885
Past, Present and Future

The history of Yonsei University began in 1885 with Korea’s first modern hospital Chejungwon which was established by medical missionary Horace N. Allen. Around that time, missionary Horace G. Underwood visited Korea and assisted in medical treatment at Chejungwon while starting his work in education and missionary activities. The work of these two missionaries in Chejungwon has become the foundation of Yonsei.

Works related to medicine were institutionalized to become Severance Medical College. In education, what was initially known as Underwood School later became Yonhi College. In 1957, Yonhi College and Severance Medical College merged to become Yonsei University.

Committed to our founders’ core principles of Truth and Freedom, Yonsei has deeply engaged in the needs of our society. Now through IGEE, Yonsei will further serve and enrich our communities and humanity by promoting sustainable development.