Kim Il Sung University
Founded not long after independence in 1946, Kim Il Sung University is North Korea’s top university. Visitors can take a walk through the campus, visit the university museum, electronic library and swimming pool. The opportunity to meet students can also be arranged.
- It is now possible to take Korean language lessons at Kim Il Sung University. See our Pyongyang Summer Language Program for more details.
- Fees apply for Korean language lessons, contact us for more details.
Best times to visit
The first university to be founded in the DPRK in 1946. During the Korean War it was temporarily relocated to a site near Pyongsong City (which can be visited on tours).
- Kim Il Sung University is one of two North Korean universities that presently accepts foreign students, the other being Kim Hyong Jik University of Education. It hosts approximately 100 exchange students a year, the majority from China.
- Kim Il Sung University is a “comprehensive university” (종합대학；綜合大學). This means it includes the full range of faculties from sciences to the arts and social sciences.
- Undergraduate courses here take five years to complete.
- North Korean university students wear a badge with the name of their university together with their portrait badge. Kim Il Sung University students are the only to have a special badge that combines the two into one badge.
- 2016 North Korean movie “Graduation Certificate” (졸업증) deals with the university’s early years.
- Famous alumni include Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, Chinese Communist Party official Zhang Dejiang, North Korea scholar and Tongil Tours academic partner Andrei Lankov, and more.
- You might be wondering why its official website is called “Ryongnamsan”. “Ryongnamsan” (룡남산) is the hill that the university’s campus is built on.
- Kim Il Sung University has two logos. The traditional one (left) features a stylised word “daehak” (대학), meaning “university”, above a laurel wreath. It is seen as a badge on the baggy caps that is a part of the students’ uniforms. The other logo contains an image of the main building and a fountain pen tip.
- The university has a lush, green campus. One Korean language teacher even claimed to have caught a pheasant on the grounds!
- Wikipedia article on Kim Il Sung University:
- Official website of Kim Il Sung University:
- Interview with Chinese exchange students at Kim Il Sung University:
University, Education, Architecture