The University of Kentucky (UK) has joined forces with esports organisation Gen.G and scholar association International Studies Abroad (ISA) to launch an international esports exchange programme in Seoul, South Korea.
Starting this May, the programme will offer students a four-week stay at Hanyang University or Korea University.
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According to the release, the programme is an initiative from the university’s UK Student Success and Education Abroad & Exchanges departments.
Joe Baek, Executive Director of Education Initiatives at Gen.G commented: “As the first and only esports organisation to connect the biggest esports markets in the world, Gen.G is at the forefront of developing outcome-driven, world-class education with global implications. This new opportunity through UK is the epitome of this effort.
“Visiting students will have the opportunity to experience esports like never before — meetings with pro players and coaches, seminars with industry professionals and workshops with students specialising in esports — all culminating in a final project where students from both the U.S. and Korea work together to design, prepare and execute an actual esports event. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, all held within the backdrop of the birthplace of esports.”
Throughout the programme, students will have an opportunity to participate in customised esports activities designed by Gen.G to provide networking opportunities with esports professionals.
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Additionally, the first six students to complete their application will automatically receive a $1,500 (~£1,088) scholarship sponsored by ISA.
“This programme is unique because it gives our students a chance to experience esports and gaming through a cultural lens,” added Katherine M. McCormick, Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for UK Student Success. “Gaming is a $180+ billion industry, and esports specifically with $1 billion in gross revenue, are sectors where jobs are developing quickly across multiple disciplines: computer science and engineering, communication, marketing/social media, accounting, event promotion and facility management.”
This isn’t the first collaboration between UK and Gen.G, with both entities entering into a partnership in October 2019. Last month, Gen.G and UK announced The University of Kentucky Esports Invitational, a series of tournaments featuring nine universities competing in League of Legends, Rocket League, and VALORANT.
Esports Insider says: This is a huge step for scholastic esports. Offering esports-oriented studies in one of the most developed countries in the world, when it comes to esports education, will surely be beneficial to those participating.