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Ewha University

University Name

The name Ewha University symbolizes traditions and the spirit of women’s education in Korea

  • 1887

    Ewha
    Haktang

  • 1925

    Ewha
    College

  • 1945

    Kyungsung
    Women’s College

  • 1946 ~ present

    Ewha
    Womans University

The name Ewha University symbolizes traditions and the spirit of women’s education in Korea The name Ewha was first used for the school when Emperor Kojong bestowed ‘Ewha Haktang’ on a girls’ school, run by Mrs. Scranton, in order to celebrate the start of women’s education in Korea in1887.

The first official use of the name Ewha was early in 1887, when Emperor Kojong bestowed the name ‘Ewha Haktang’ on a girls’ school run by Mrs. Scranton, to celebrate the start of women’s education in Korea. It has been suggested that Ewha was named after pear blossoms (梨花, in Chinese letters) that were scattered near the school or the name of a garden pavilion, Ewha-jung. While the different department of schools used independent academic curriculums, college courses and pre-medical courses were restructured as Ewha College in 1925. Eventually, the name Ewha Haktang was officially abolished in 1928.

The name Ewha is not limited to just the name of an educational institution, but also symbolizes the tradition and spirit of women's education in Korea. There is an element of cultural identity to the name because Ewha was forced to change its name twice under Japanese colonial rule; the first time to Ewha Women’s College Youth Training Department in 1943 and the second time to Kyungsung Women’s College in 1945, because it was perceived that the name Ewha had a strong nationalistic connotation. In 1945, however, the original name was reinstated with Korea’s liberation. Since then, the University has been known as Ewha Womans University.

Ewha Womans University is the original English name that has been used since Ewha developed into a comprehensive university right after Korea’s liberation from colonial rule. The English translation of the University’s name involved more than just direct translation because of a desire to include the profound educational philosophy of Ewha in the name of the school. Education at Ewha stems from respect for each student as the noblest and individual person. When Ewha was founded to further the education of women in Korea, it was a time when women were not respected as individuals. A stark example of this is the fact that women were not given their own, original names, but were merely referred to by the number of the order in which they were born. Therefore, Ewha strives to see students grow into personally mature people and avoid totalitarian and unitary education by providing individually customized lessons to develop each unique personality and talent. To depict this philosophy in a prominent manner, Ewha decided to go against English grammar rules and use “woman” instead of “women” in the English translation of the University’s name. The name therefore shows that Ewha emphasizes that each woman is an individual and each unique student contributes to the whole that comprises Ewha.