Until the end of the 1980s, the major focus of research in East Asian Studies was given to Japanese and Chinese Studies, and scholars had been carrying out research in Korean Studies only sporadically. However, Korean Studies in Australia and New Zealand has gained momentum since the late 1980s, and universities and high schools have revised their curricula to reflect the changes in research attention. As Korea became an important trading partner for Australia, Korean Studies in various areas gained recognition in importance and rapidly expanded its profile in Australia and New Zealand. The initial enthusiasm however, cooled down somewhat after the first 10 years.

Hence, to provide systematic and strategic support leading towards the new millennium, The Korea Research Institute at the University of New South Wales (KRI@UNSW) began its operation as the Korea-Australasia Research Centre (KAREC) in June 2000. Its major aims include establishing cooperative research networks among scholars in Korean studies and Korea related research, conducting research projects on important pending issues in the region, and contributing to policy formation in the related areas. In 2010, KAREC has become the Korea Research Institute (KRI)@UNSW. UNSW is one of the most innovative and forward looking universities in Oceania and Southeast Asia, with an excellent research and academic environment. UNSW is equipped with a well-developed program for research and teaching in Korean Studies and Korean language.

In 2006, KRI@UNSW has been selected by The Korean Ministry of Education and the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) to become the leading research and education hub for Korean studies in Oceania and South East Asia, after being officially endorsed by the Korean government. The Korean Ministry of Education and the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) has given funding and official recognition to only four overseas universities. The three others are UCLA, University of London and the University of Washington, Seattle.


KRI@UNSW is a non-profit research institution established through the joint efforts of the Korea Research Foundation and the University of New South Wales. It aims to conduct and support research into all areas of Korean Studies in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia including examining the relationship between Korea and Australasia, which incorporates the Southeast Asian region. The Centre also supports researchers and interest groups through a range of valuable programs, including scholarships. To support socio-cultural, political and economic exchanges in the regions, KRI@UNSW provides professional consulting and unique training programs for those involved in the exchanges.









Foundation of KAREC – Jointly hosted by the UNSW & the Korea Research Foundation


Foundation Seminar: Development of Korean Studies in the Globe and Roles of KAREC



1st KAREC Int’l Symposium: Foundation of Strategic Network of Korean Studies in Australasia


Foundation of ‘Strategic Vision Groups’ to facilitate future development of Korean Studies



KAREC Public Symposium: The inter-Korean relationship in the post Sep. 11 environment


1st Korean Studies Int’t Workshops: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam



2nd KAREC Int’l Symposium: Development of Korean Studies Education, Research & Cooperation Network in Southeast Asia-Oceania-Korea


2nd Korean Studies Int’t Workshops: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam



1st Board Meeting of ‘Strategic Vision Group’: Strengthening the collaborative studies opportunities


3rd Korean Studies Int’t Workshops: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam



1st KAREC-KSASA Int’l Symposium: Foundation of Korean Studies Association of Southeast Asia (KSASA)


3rd KAREC Int’l Symposium: Extension of Korean Studies network in Australasia



The Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) selects KAREC as one of the regional hubs of Global Korean Studies Network


UNSW Korea Week: Promoting Korean Studies in Australia, Building awareness of Korea



2nd KAREC-KSASA Int’l  Symposium:  Building and strengthening supportive infrastructures of Korean Studies in Southeast Asia


4th KAREC Int’l Symposium: Glocalisation of Korean Studies in the Oceania and Southeast Asia Regions



KAREC Public Symposium: Cooperation between Korea and Australia for peace and security on the Korean peninsula



3rd KAREC-KSASA Int’l Symposium: Korean Studies in Southeast Asia in the New Era of Cultural Interactions



President Lee Myung-bak visits UNSW


5th KAREC Int’l Symposium: Glocalisation of Korean Studies in the World: Present and Future
    11 UNSW National Strategic Conference 2009
KAREC-KOLTA Joint Workshop
2010 Korean Language Performance Contest for Australian School Students
2010 KSAA Postgraduate Research Workshop
National Korean Teachers Workshop 2010
4th KSASA International Conference



KRI@UNSW Structure



Major Activities


Research Activities

  • KRI Research Projects
    Research projects in all areas of Korean Studies, including Politics, Economics, Management, Sociology, Language and History.
  • Collaborative Research Projects
    Collaborative research projects with other institutions conducting in Australasia, Southeast Asia, and Korea, research in Korean Studies.
  • Regional Support
    Provision of support to research activities of other institutions and researchers in the Australasia and Southeast Asia region.
  • Publication
    Publication of periodical journal, research discussion papers, monographs and conference proceedings.


Support and Network

  • Teaching in Korean Studies

Support for the development of teaching programs in Korean language and Korean Studies courses at various institutions in Australasia and Southeast Asia as well as, providing training, development courses, workshops and seminars for teachers in Korean language and Korean Studies, in conjunction with other research centres and teaching institutions in the region.

  • Regional Network

Promoting and assisting academic exchange among scholars in Korean Studies studying in Korea, Australasia and Southeast Asia. For students majoring in Korean Studies, various scholarships and student exchange programs are also offered between Australia, Southeast Asia and Korea.

Consulting and Professional Training

  • Research and Consulting

Provision of training related to investment, management and regional relations in Australasia and Southeast Asia, as well as providing for information and research in Korean Studies.

  • Professional Development Courses

Provision of effective professional training courses to government institutions, business communities, researchers and students in the areas of trade and/or international relations between Korea-Australia, Australia-Southeast Asia, designed according to the needs and characteristics of each group.


Supporting Institutions


The University of New South Wales

The University of New South Wales is one of the largest institutions in Australasia, with more than 40,000 students and more than 2,000 teaching staff members, and 78 research institutions. UNSW is recognised as the best and the most innovative university in Australia by wider communities, and over the past 10 years UNSW has invariably received the largest amount of competitive research grants from the Australian Government.

Thanks to a multicultural policy, many active exchange programs for students and staff members have been developed between UNSW and institutions in Asia. This helped the development of the largest pool of researchers in Korea-related areas at UNSW as well as among Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.


The Academy of Korean Studies

The Academy of Korean Studies was founded with the objects of "studying the essence of Korean culture for establishing the base for new creation with independent historical views and a sound sense of values, seeking the basic principles of future Korea to raise and restore the spirit of the Korean people, and creating and developing Korean culture."

To achieve these objects, the Academy has steadily carried out various projects such as academic research on Korean culture, publishing and translating Korean classics, supporting and cooperating with domestic and international education and research institutions, co-researching and publishing with prominent scholars outside, training Korean studies researchers, and publishing and distributing research materials.


Business Sector

KRI@UNSW has established relationships with many companies operating in the region, especially in the area of Korea-Australasia relations.


Other Organisations

KRI@UNSW has a wide network with various research institutions, universities and organisations related to Korea and Korean Studies. This includes centres for Australian Studies and those concerned with Australia-Southeast relations.