Our Visit to PUST (Pyongyang University of Science & Technology)

A couple of years ago, we visited the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, a university privately founded by foreign educators in the outskirts of Pyongyang. We organized an official university recognized trip for Columbia SIPA to the DPRK and took the students to audit a class at PUST and to meet the students and faculty at this new institution. With the Sony hack and The Interview controversy, we thought this post would be timely. Take a peek with us into PUST:

PUST is actually located on the outskirts of Pyongyang. We drove quite a bit from city center to get to the campus, which is surrounded by mostly farmland. We’ve been to a lot of universities in the DPRK, and this one did feel a bit isolated. As we entered the large building that serves as the main hall for classes and study, we were greeted by a library:

Here’s the study hall:

PUST currently only accepts male students. What we heard from the administrators was that students are chosen from the Kim Il Sung University to study in a western style classroom. All classes are taught in English by foreign professors. We got to audit a bio-chemistry class. The students were really eager to introduce themselves and to practice their English!

Columbia SIPA students with PUST students:

And finally, we were warmly sent off by some of the deans of the school:

If you’re interested in visiting universities in the DPRK, check out our Budget Tour: 2015 Spring Break in North Korea!



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