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Since its foundation in 1948 as Kongju Provincial Teachers College, Kongju National University has played a pivotal role in cultivating middle and high school teachers. It was accredited as a comprehensive university in 1991, and has grown into a large university with a student body of over 22,000, by amalgamating with Yesan Agricultural College as the College of Industrial Sciences in 1992, with Kongju National Cultural College as the College of Visual Image and Health in 2001, and with Cheonan National Technical College as the College of Engineering in 2005. Kongju National University has produced more than 100,000 graduates, who are actively engaged in not only the educational field but in every field of Korean society.

Kongju National University operates three specialized campuses in three cities, Gongju, Yesan and Cheonan. Gongju campus has four colleges: the College of Education, the College of Natural Sciences, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Visual Image and Health. Yesan campus has the College of Industrial Sciences and Cheonan campus the College of Engineering.
Kongju National University has 94 departments with about 19,000 undergraduates and about 3,000 graduates totaling 22,000 students. The University employs 540 faculty members and 400 administrative staff. There are three schools attached to the University in Gongju, including a high school, a middle school and a kindergarten, which have more than 70 teachers in total.

Kongju National University has been recognized as a hub of National Human Resources Development, operating five NURI projects, three BK21 projects and a NEXT (Nurturing Excellent Engineers in Information and Technology) project. For eight years in a row, the College of Education has produced the largest number of students passing the Teacher Certification Examinations among competing universities throughout the nation. On the 60th anniversary, 2008, of its foundation, the University declared its intention to become a Mecca for Overseas Korean Education, and has since served as a medium that propagates the excellence of Korean people and promotes the national pride of Koreans by providing Korean language education and Korean traditional culture experience programs, targeting the 7.4 million overseas Koreans.