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Ruling party pushes to move top university out of Seoul to Sejong

All Headlines 10:17 September 24, 2012

SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Yonhap) -- The ruling Saenuri Party is pushing to move the country's top-ranked Seoul National University (SNU) to the new administrative city of Sejong in a move to woo voters ahead of December's presidential election, party officials said Monday.

The move would help the Seoul-based state-run university attract additional investment and cut tuition if it sells its land and buildings, a party official said, asking that he not be identified.

The official is a key member of a party committee in charge of drawing up campaign pledges for the Dec. 19 polls.

"We are positively reviewing a relocation of SNU to Sejong," the official told Yonhap News Agency by phone. "SNU is a public university, so the relocation should be easy and have a lot of symbolic meaning."

The relocation is part of a scheme by the committee to turn Sejong into a college hub that could compare to Boston. Other universities in Seoul and the surrounding area are also expected to gradually move into the new city under the committee's plan, party officials said.

"It's an appealing proposal as it could contribute to Sejong's development, balanced growth across regions and win votes (for the party) in the Chungcheong area, so it's highly likely that it will be chosen as a final campaign pledge," said a key official within the party, also asking not to be identified.

Sejong, located some 150 kilometers south of Seoul in South Chungcheong Province, is set to become the new administrative hub, with 16 central government ministries and offices as well as 20 subsidiary organizations scheduled to move there by 2014.

The Prime Minister's Office was the first to relocate to Sejong earlier this month.


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