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Squid Game’s Sang-woo, the genius who studied at Seoul National University

Seoul National University
Actor Park Hae-Soo played the character Cho Sang-woo, a graduate of the prestigious Seoul National University, on “Squid Game.” Source: Tobias Schwarz/AFP

The cast members of “Squid Game” — slated to be Netflix’s “biggest show ever” — have catapulted into the global limelight thanks to the global appeal of the show. South Korean actor Park Hae-Soo became a household name when he played the character Cho Sang-woo, a graduate of the prestigious Seoul National University.

For the uninitiated, “Squid Game” revolves around 456 debt-ridden people participating in traditional Korean children’s games (with a sinister turn) for a chance to win 45.6 billion Won (close to 40 million US dollars) —  if they successfully complete the games.

Sang-woo, however, has been dubbed something of a legend in his neighbourhood for gaining entry and graduating from South Korea’s top university. Despite being a villain on the show, his determination to win at all costs has made him a memorable character.  

Sang-woo is a disgraced investment banker who stole money from his clients and lost it in the stock market. But what was the education that helped him to become a banker?

Sang-woo’s alma mater, Seoul National University

According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022, Seoul National University is ranked joint 54th. According to THE, many of the university’s graduates serve as public servants in key positions of the Korean government, while it is also South Korea’s first national university.

Seoul National University’s 15 colleges offer various undergraduate degree programmes, while its Graduate School has 106 programmes across five fields of study. The latters’ interdisciplinary programmes are operated by more than two different departments. 

Celebrities who attended Seoul National University include actres Kim Tae Hee; singer and actor Kim Jeong Hoon; actor Lee Sang Yoon; and actress and beauty pageant title holder Lee Honey.