Brief History of Kim Il Sung University

Kim Il Sung University is the university of the Party and the leader, the central base for training native cadres and the highest institute of science and education that was founded and has been strengthened under the benevolent care of the peerless great men.

Regarding education, training of native cadres, as the most important of all national affairs that has a bearing on the destiny of the country and nation, President Kim Il Sung initiated the founding of the university and took deep care of its preparations even in the difficult and complex situation that prevailed after the country's liberation.

Thus, in November 1945, The Association for Supporting Building University was organized involving democratic figures from all walks of life and those concerned with education, and in May 1946 a state measure was taken to organize the preparatory committee of founding university.

The President had letters of invitation in his name sent to teachers and scholars across the country to relieve the lack of teachers. He also had a correct criterion for selecting students and a preparatory course set so that the university could become a people's university where children of revolutionary martyrs and sons and daughters of the working people could study to the full.

And he saw to it that good big buildings in Pyongyang were used as lecture halls, dormitories and dining halls of the university.

Kim Il Sung University celebrates October 1, Juche 35 (1946) as its founding anniversary.

Reflecting our people's unanimous desire, the first university of new Korea was named after President Kim Il Sung, the hero of Korean nation and a peerless patriot.

At the time of its founding the university was composed of seven faculties, 24 departments and 30 classes, including Faculty of Literature, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Physics, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Agronomy, Faculty of Medical Science and Faculty of Railway Engineering.

Sixty-eight excellent scholars, including To Sang Rok, Pak Si Hyong, Kim Su Gyong, Kim Kwang Jin, Kim Sok Hyong, Won Hong Gu, Sin Ku Hyon, Kye Ung Sang and Im Rok Jae, were the first lecturers of the university and they taught more than 1 500 students.

The students have been provided with new school uniforms since December 1946, and since September 1947 they have been awarded scholarships without any worry about university fees.

The design of the school uniform and the cap-badge were decided on and completed by the President.

Lecturers of the university also received clothing and other supplies every year, and in June 1949 houses for the lecturers were built near the university.

By 1948 the educational and scientific foundations of Kim Il Sung University had been solidified further.

In July 1948 Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Transport Engineering were separated from Kim Il Sung University and formed Pyongyang College of Industry (Kim Chaek University of Technology at present), Faculty of Medicine into Pyongyang College of Medicine and Faculty of Agronomy into Wonsan College of Agriculture.

And the institute was opened in May 1947, an evening college in February 1948 and a correspondence teacher training college in September 1948, thus laying a foundation for training more native cadres.

In the new school year of 1949, the number of faculties increased to 10, lecturers to more than 170, and students to more than 3200.

In September 1948 Kye Ung Sang and Won Hong Gu got academic degrees and titles for the first time at Kim Il Sung University.

On October 10, Juche 37 (1948) an inauguration ceremony of the new school building of Kim Il Sung University was grandly held on Ryongnam Hill in the presence of the President.

Kim Il Sung University produced its first 19 graduates (13 from physics and 6 from mathematics) on December 28, 1949.

The President personally attended the 1st graduation ceremony and congratulated the graduates.

On June 25, 1950, when the Fatherland Liberation War broke out, many students, lecturers and postgraduates of the university left the campus and rushed to the front.

Amid the flames of the war the 2nd graduation ceremony was held on June 30, 1950, and 271 students graduated.

Under the wise leadership of President Kim Il Sung, the university did not stop the educational and scientific work even in the grim days of the war.

With a correct foresight of the victory in the war, the President took a crucial step to recall the students fighting on the front to their university in June, Juche 40 (1951) and again in January, Juche 41 (1952). So more than 400 students returned to their school work and from July 1951 a special preparatory course of the university was opened and in November that year university teaching was resumed.

In April, Juche 41 (1952), President Kim Il Sung visited the university in Paeksong-ri (then Paekjon-ri, Jasan myon, Sunchon County, South Phyongan Province) and indicated the direction for the university to follow during the war and unfolded a bright blueprint for postwar reconstruction.

On December 28, 1952, the 3rd graduation ceremony of Kim Il Sung University was held in Paeksong-ri and 253 students graduated.

After the war Kim Il Sung University finished the rehabilitation of the school building and dormitory at an early date and returned to Pyongyang to keep the school work going on.

In October 1956, on the occasion of the 10th founding anniversary of the university, a new university graduation badge and student badge were decided on and the gathering of the first-term graduates was held.

In the postwar period, the teaching staff and students of Kim Il Sung University made wonderful successes in reconstructing or building various construction projects including the West Pyongyang Stadium (Kim Il Sung Stadium at present) and the Taesongsan Pleasure Ground.

During this period, a vigorous struggle was waged to thoroughly establish Juche and overcome flunkeyism and dogmatism in the university education. In addition, the nuclear physics department and other departments were newly created and an optical experimental apparatus factory went into operation, thus further consolidating the material foundation of the university.

Education for foreign students began at Kim Il Sung University in 1954.

Chairman Kim Jong Il's revolutionary activities at Kim Il Sung University from September Juche 49 (1960) to March Juche 53 (1964) marked an important occasion for the university to greet a new heyday of its development.

On September 1, Juche 49 (1960) when he entered Kim Il Sung University, he sang a poem "O Korea, I'll Add Glory to Thee " on Ryongnam Hill reflecting the historic pledge he made to the times and the revolution, the country and the people.

He always gave deep, original and scientific clarification to the important and urgent problems facing the Korean revolution and the world revolution including politics, economy, military affairs, philosophy, history, art and literature and education with his extraordinary ideological and theoretical wisdom and scientific insight. So not only students but also lecturers looked up to him as a great teacher and wanted to be taught by him.

During his university days Chairman Kim Jong Il published more than 1 800 works which covered all spheres of study.

The scientific papers in various fields, including "On Re-examining the Issue of the Unification of the Three Kingdoms", "On the Characteristics of Modern Imperialism and its Aggressive Nature", "The Validity of Our Party's Policy of Developing the Local Economy" and a graduation thesis "The Status and Role of the County in Socialist Construction" written by Chairman Kim Jong Il during his university days, are of great significance in the development of Korean revolution and the world revolution, and their validity is clearly proved with great vitality.

While he was studying at Kim Il Sung University, Chairman Kim Jong Il took part in the production internship (April 21-May 8, 1961) at the Pyongyang Textile Machinery Factory (then) and Wasandong-Ryongsong road expansion project (May 15-June 4, 1961) and the military camping in Oundong (August 20-October 4, 1962).

From the 1960s to the early 2010s, Kim Il Sung University was further strengthened and developed into the university of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il with loyalty to the Party and the leader as their lifeblood and a model university for training revolutionary talents.

In September Juche 57 (1968) a revolutionary museum was built at the main building of the university with the statue of President Kim Il Sung on Ryongnam Hill.

As several faculties such as Faculty of Physics, Faculty of Mathematical Mechanics, Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Geology, Faculty of Automation, Faculty of Energy Science and other faculties were independently separated or newly established, the university was expanded and developed with more comprehensive and broad academic structure.

In the early 1980s Kim Il Sung University had 16 faculties, more than 10 independent institutes including Catalyst Institute as well as about 200 departments and 100 laboratories.

The university conducted a brisk international academic exchange with several universities including Far East Federal University (Russia), Yanbian University (China), Osaka Economics and Law School (Japan), and so on. The university also conducted book exchange with a lot of universities including Moscow National University (Russia), Beijing University (China), Berlin Humboldt University (Germany), Panama University (Panama), San Marco University (Peru).

Under the meticulous guidance and care of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il, Building No. 1 was completed in October 1965, the Science Library with 2 million copies of books was built in October 1970, and Building No. 2 was completed in 1972.

In 1989 a modern gymnasium was built ahead of the 13th world students and youth festival, and in the mid-1990s the site of the university was expanded and a new dormitory was built on the occasion of its 50th founding anniversary.

Chairman Kim Jong Il gave on-the-spot guidance to Kim Il Sung University on December 7, Juche 85 (1996). That day seeing carefully the achievements made by university in educational and scientific work, he gave important instructions, had a photo taken with the educators and enjoyed an art performance by university students.

The university built a large-scale revolutionary monument in 2001.

From the end of the 1990s to 2010, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Automation and Faculty of Korean Language and Literature were renamed Law College, Computer Science College and Literature College, respectively, and Finance College, Faculty of Electronics and Automation, Faculty of Mechanics and Faculty of Materials Science was newly created to further expand the size and educational content of the university. Institute of Social Sciences and Institute of Natural Sciences were also established in 2001 for the purpose of training world-famous scholars.

In October 2019, several colleges were turned into faculty - Law College into Faculty of Law, Literature College into Faculty of Korean Language and Literature, Finance College into Faculty of Finance, Information Science College into Faculty of Information Science, Forest Science College into Faculty of Forest Science, Distance Education College into Faculty of Distance Education.

Chairman Kim Jong Il ensured that a new diploma and graduation badge carrying the image of President Kim Il Sung were established and awarded to all the graduates in Juche 94 (2005).

In Juche 98 (2009), Chairman Kim Jong Il had a modern swimming complex built in the university and in Juche 99 (2010) he had a modern e-library erected at the site of the main building. He also sent an autograph, which the university should maintain as its permanent program and definite goal to develop into one of the most prestigious universities in the world

And he visited the university four times from March Juche 98 (2009) to April Juche 99 (2010) and went round the Swimming Complex, E-Library and Education and Science Exhibition.

The respected Comrade Kim Jong Un gave field guidance to the university in company with Chairman Kim Jong Il on December 11, Juche 98 (2009) and April 12, Juche 99 (2010).

In May 2010, Pyongyang University of Medicine, Kye Ung Sang Sariwon University of Agriculture and Pyongyang University of Agriculture were affiliated with Kim Il Sung University Council, but they were separated again in October 2019.

Entering the new era of the Juche revolution, Kim Il Sung University made new successes to be recorded in gold letters in its history under the warm care of the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un.

The respected Comrade Kim Jong Un has made great efforts to turn Kim Il Sung University into the most prestigious university in the world, the central base for educational and scientific research in our country and the base of international academic exchange in line with the new requirements of the developing revolution.

He read a letter from teachers and researchers of Kim Il Sung University on December 30, Juche 100 (2011) and sent an autograph letter of love to the university to encourage the teachers and researchers who turned out in the building of the world-class university.

On October 1, Juche 102 (2013), the unveiling ceremony of the statue of the Chairman Kim Jong Il was grandly held at Kim Il Sung University and the revolutionary museum was opened.

The respected Comrade Kim Jong Un allowed a new type of student badge bearing the images of smiling President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il in April, Juche 101 (2012) and personally ratified the design of the logo of Kim Il Sung University in September, Juche 102 (2013).

On September 27, Juche 105 (2016), the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un sent a historic letter "On the Basic Tasks Facing Kim Il Sung University in the New Era of the Juche Revolution" to warmly congratulate all the teaching staff and students of the university on the occasion of the 70th founding anniversary of the university. In his letter, he reviewed the 70-year history of the university with great pride and clearly indicated the road ahead of the university as demanded by the new era of the Juche revolution.

True to the instructions of Chairman Kim Jong Il, the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un saw to it that two apartment buildings for the lecturers were built as high-rise houses near Kim Il Sung University and visited the construction site three times to show warm love for them. In October, Juche 102 (2013), he provided the lecturers of Kim Il Sung University with more than 300 fully-equipped flats.

And again in Juche 106 (2017) he provided lecturers and researchers of the university with more than 1 700 flats in newly-built Ryomyong Street.

In the 2010s, Building No. 3, Building No. 4, Building for Faculty of Chemistry, new students' dormitories and dining halls were built and the modernization of Building No. 2, formerly-built dormitories and Publishing House was accelerated to change their appearance.

The education system including continuous education, distance education and reeducation was further completed and the ranks of world-class scholars increased, thus strengthening the forces of science and education.

Many subjects have been newly developed and great progress has been made in the work to improve the content of education and teaching methods.

Amid the vigorous struggle to forcefully propel the building of a powerful socialist country with successful research results in cutting-edge science as demanded by the new era of the Juche revolution, the research projects conducive to the development of the country and nation and scientific progress of mankind are being successfully carried out.

Lecturers and researchers of Kim Il Sung University are making many successful research achievements in cutting-edge science that are of great significance in the socialist construction of the country and the development of world science. They are also contributing excellent academic papers on their research results to authoritative international academic journals.

The university is conducting a brisk international academic exchange, too.

The university organizes international academic seminars by discipline or of a comprehensive nature on an annual basis and delegations of scholars of Kim Il Sung University are taking an active part in academic seminars on various themes that are held abroad.

Academic exchange agreements have been signed with 16 universities and scientific research institutes in five countries, so that invited lecturers and experts are being dispatched, student assistants and foreign students are being exchanged, and international joint research is being revitalized.

Kim Il Sung University, on the basis of the successes already achieved, is dynamically advancing to fully discharge its mission and to rank among the top universities in the world as a university of the Party and the leader, a core base for training native cadres and training talents in the country and a parent university.