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Ewha Womans University
Other name
Idae (이대·梨大)
진·선·미 (眞·善·美)
Motto in English
TypePrivate research higher education institution
Established1886; 138 years ago (1886)
FounderMary F. Scranton
PresidentEun Mee Kim
Academic staff
Administrative staff
South Korea

37°33′45″N 126°56′42″E / 37.56250°N 126.94500°E / 37.56250; 126.94500
CampusUrban, 54.5 ha (135 acres)
Colors  Ewha green
Korean name
Revised RomanizationIhwa Yeoja Daehakgyo
McCune–ReischauerIhwa Yŏja Taehakkyo

Ewha Womans University (Korean이화여자대학교; Hanja梨花女子大學校) is a private women's research university in Seoul, South Korea. It was originally founded as Ewha Haktang on May 31, 1886, by a missionary Mary F. Scranton. Currently, Ewha Womans University is one of the world's largest female educational institutes and one of the most prestigious universities in South Korea. Ewha Womans University has produced numerous South Korean women leaders, including politicians, CEOs, and legal professionals.


Ewha campus complex
Street near Ewha
Main entrance
Autumn at Ewha Womans University.

Ewha Womans University traces its roots back to Mary F. Scranton's Ewha Haktang (이화학당; 梨花學堂) mission school for girls, which opened with one student on May 31, 1886.[2] The name Ewha, which means “Pear Blossom,” was bestowed by the Emperor Gojong the following year. The image of the pear blossom is incorporated in the school's logo.

The school began providing college courses in 1910, and professional courses for women in 1925. The high school section, now known as Ewha Girls' High School (not to be confused with the coeducational Ewha Womans University High School, the university's demonstration school, founded in 1958),[3] separated from the college section and is currently located in Jung-gu, Seoul.[4] Both institutions share the same motto and the "pear blossoms" image in their logos.

Immediately following the liberation of Korea on August 15, 1945, the college received government permission to become a university. It was the first South Korean university to be officially organized.

Student population

According to figures provided by the university in April 2018, there are 21,596 enrolled students at the university.[5]

While figures on the student body's gender breakdown are not available, Korea JoongAng Daily reported in 2003 there were 10 male students enrolled at the time.[6] In 2009, Asian Correspondent reported that male students make up 30% of all foreign international students at the university.[7]


The university collaborates with around 830 partners in 64 countries including Australian National University, Cornell University, Free University of Berlin, Ghent University, Harvard University, Indiana University, King's College London, Mount Allison University, Nanyang Technological University, Ohio State University, Peking University, University of Kuala Lumpur, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of British Columbia, University of Edinburgh, University of Hong Kong, University of South Carolina, Uppsala University, Waseda University, and a direct exchange program with Mills College in Oakland, California.


The university explains its unusual name by saying that while the lack of an apostrophe in "Womans University" is unconventional, the use of "Woman" rather than "Women" was normal in the past.[8]


Ewha Womans University Museum opened in April 1935. It has a wide range of artifacts, ranging from paintings, ceramics, crafts, doubles, and folk items, and its main collection is the Korean National Treasure No. 107 white porcelain, iron, and grape jars. The museum consists of a permanent exhibition hall, a planning exhibition hall, a donation exhibition hall, and a Damin Goksik art museum.

University rankings
JoongAng National[9] Domestic 7
QS National[10] General 14
THE National[11] General 18–21
ARWU National[12] Research 14–18
QS Asia
(Asia version)[13]
General =64
THE Asia
(Asia version)[14]
General 108
ARWU World[15] Research 601–700
QS World[16] General =511
THE World[17] General 601–800
USNWR World[18] General =856

Controversies and criticisms

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Helen Kim

Helen Kim, the seventh principal and first Korean principal of Ewha, is considered to be pro-Japanese. She is known to have encouraged young men to enlist in the Japanese army. The statue of Helen Kim and the building named after her on campus have both been criticized. Many protests were organized to take down the statue.[22][23]

Women's rights movements

While Ewha Womans University has been the center of women's rights movements, this feminist feature created controversies in Korea.[24] One example was men's benefit from military service. Originally, getting extra points on employment and being paid for higher step in the salary class were available to males who had done their mandatory military service. In 1999, a couple of Ewha Womans University students and one male student, who was a disabled student at Yonsei University, claimed that this law was both sexist and discriminatory toward disabled people.[25] This case eventually went to court, and the court ruled in the students' favor.

2016 South Korean political scandal

Ewha Womans University became embroiled in the 2016 South Korean political scandal, because a former student, Chung Yoo-ra, had been admitted under a special rule change by virtue of her mother's close connections to South Korean President Park Geun-hye despite not meeting requirements. Students had already been protesting against some of the university's unilateral changes to the degree system and departments before the political scandal blew up. As a result, the university's president, Choi Kyunghee, was ousted and convicted and Chung Yoo-Ra's degree was rescinded.[26]


Distinguished Honorary Ewha Fellows

Distinguished Honorary Ewha Doctorates

Distinguished Fellows of the Ewha Academy for Advanced Studies

Notable alumni

See also: Category:Ewha Womans University alumni

Politics and government






Affiliated facilities

Public transportation

See also


  1. ^ "Ewha Information". Ewha Womans University Official Website.
  2. ^ Lee Jeong-kyu. (2001). The establishment of modern universities in Korea and their implications for Korean education policies. In Education Policy Analysis Archives 9 (27) Archived 2006-09-02 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ [임철순의 즐거운 세상] 가장 긴 제목. Hankook Ilbo (in Korean). January 30, 2014.
  4. ^ "Memorial exhibition to be held for Scranton". Ewha Voice. Ewha Womans University. May 18, 2009.
  5. ^ "Student Statistics". Ewha Womams University. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Minority Report: 10 men among 21,000 women". Korea JoongAng Daily. 10 June 2003. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  7. ^ Schwartzman, Nathan (23 August 2009). "Foreign Male Students are at Ewha Women's University". Asian Correspondent. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  8. ^ Compare Texas Woman's University, named in 1957, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, named in 1893, as well as Mississippi Woman's College and Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, all of which have since changed their names.
  9. ^ "2023 JoongAng Ilbo University Rankings". JoongAng Ilbo. 2022. Retrieved November 20, 2023.
  10. ^ "QS University Rankings 2025". Top Universities. 2025. Retrieved June 4, 2024.
  11. ^ "THE University Rankings 2024 - South Korea". Times Higher Education (THE). 2024. Retrieved October 21, 2023.
  12. ^ World University Rankings - 2023 (2023). "South Korea Universities in Top 500 universities". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved August 21, 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ "QS Asian University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2024. Retrieved November 8, 2023.
  14. ^ "Asia University Rankings 2024". Times Higher Education. 2024. Retrieved April 30, 2024.
  15. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2023. Retrieved August 20, 2023.
  16. ^ "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2025. Retrieved June 4, 2024.
  17. ^ "THE World University Rankings". Times Higher Education. 2024. Retrieved October 21, 2023.
  18. ^ U.S.News & World Report (2022). "Best Global Universities - US News". Retrieved July 20, 2023.
  19. ^ U.S.News & World Report (2022). "Search Best Global Universities - US News Education". Retrieved July 20, 2023.
  20. ^ U.S.News & World Report (2022). "Best Global Universities in Asia - US News Education". Retrieved July 20, 2023.
  21. ^ "Young University Rankings 2024: South Korea". Times Higher Education (THE). 2024. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  22. ^ 이대 학생위 "친일파 김활란 동상 철거하라". 25 March 2005.
  23. ^ 이화여대 김활란 총장 동상...매번 훼손되는 이유는. 31 July 2016.
  24. ^ "An epic battle between feminism and deep-seated misogyny is underway in South Korea". 2016-10-23. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  25. ^ 군가산점제 위헌판결, 불붙은 논쟁의 시작. 여성신문. 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
  26. ^ "Ex-Ewha Univ. chief faces arrest over Chung Yoo-ra admission". 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  27. ^ (CWTS), Centre for Science and Technology Studies. "CWTS Leiden Ranking". CWTS Leiden Ranking.
  28. ^ "Ewha Womans University". Top Universities. 29 July 2017.
  29. ^ "QS University Rankings: Asia 2016". Top Universities. 8 June 2016.
  30. ^ Ledyard, Gari (2010). "Remembering JaHyun Kim Haboush: An Obituary". Vol. 2, no. 2. Korean Histories. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  31. ^ "In the News – North Korean defectors emerge from periphery | MOU OneKorea". 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2016-11-13.