[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Korean universities are laggingAs countless pundits, geopolitical analysts and average people know, China is growing, and learning Chinese seems to be a wise move. I recommend to my peers that they begin studying Chinese as soon as possible. Since our rapidly developing neighbor is rising in global influence, one can easily see the probable effect that Chinese colleges will have in the future.
Not only that, but Chinese universities have a very good reputation, and have been communicating with the major American colleges of today. But the colleges in our country do not seem to have very remarkable reputations. Many people look upon Korean colleges as a place where everyone seems to slack off as soon as they pass the big entry examination.
At first I did not believe this. I never thought I was a jingoist. I did trust that our educational system and institutions were well on their way to further development and were innovating and renovating their curriculums. This trust has shriveled and died. In a conversation with a college student who had been to Boston as a foreign exchange student and then returned here, she remarked that if she had still been in an American college, she would have had no time for the Chinese tutorials that we had both signed up for. After coming back to Korea, she said, she has found herself almost drowning in spare time as she attends school.
This is not a good thing. According to many people, the quality and quantity of our students’ intelligence in Korea is superb. But we lack the quality of universities that would allow these students to reach their full potential. It is time to act. We have to work toward renovating our schools and innovating in new institutions and new curriculums before we find ourselves pushed back by the new and formidable China and the tried and true Ivy League schools of America.
by John Lee