Concerns over false claims of links to German universities

North Korea’s elite university, Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, brags of alleged partnerships with Western institutes, including two German ones. The Western institutions, however, bristle at the notion of partnership, reports Deutsche Welle.

Generally, North Koreans’ contacts with the rest of the world are kept to a minimum, including in higher education establishments. So it is all the more surprising that on the English version of its website, Kim Il Sung University boasts of being associated with dozens of partner schools around the world, including two in Germany. Apparently, the university has cleverly compiled an imposing list of past, current and alleged partnerships with “sister universities” and claims that “international academic exchanges are in full swing”.

However, many of the named universities would beg to disagree, and do not want to be associated with North Korea at all. DW has discovered that several of them, including Berlin’s renowned Humboldt University, are resisting being described as “sister universities”. They say that they are doing all they can to have their names removed from the website, but so far Kim Il Sung University has failed to respond to their requests. It also did not respond to DW’s enquiries.
Full report on the DW site