[EDITORIALS]Perils of graduate schools

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[EDITORIALS]Perils of graduate schools

The admissions time line and guidelines for next year’s applicants for the medical and dental schools have been finalized, and Korea began adopting a system of professional graduate schools. In other industrial countries, such a system was introduced for not only dental and medical schools, but also law and management. The education system will train specialists and the country will have competitive manpower.
The system, however, has some bad points. Fever has already begun for preparing for the dental and medical graduate schools, and the tendency is similar to the competition for entering undergraduate medical and dental schools. Ignoring vocational aptitude, students have applied for undergraduate dental and medical schools, blinded by their parents’ and teachers’ recommendations for hot jobs. Many people worry that adopting the new graduate school system will turn out to be nothing more than postponing the same old panic for four years.
In order to enter dental and medical graduate schools, a candidate must take the Medical Education Eligibility Test or the Dental Education Eligibility Test. Many college juniors and seniors in engineering and science fields are already preparing for the exams, and private prep schools are crowded with applicants. A few days ago, students at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Seoul National University, as well as master and doctoral degree-holders, flooded an information session on the professional graduate schools.
Students are now opting again for undergraduate courses in engineering and science, but mostly with an eye toward getting into the graduate schools. By adopting a professional graduate school system, schools can turn out practitioners with diverse backgrounds. But this will also drain engineering and science talent, and the government must prevent undergraduate science and engineering curriculums from becoming medical and dental prep schools.
The task of setting out a comprehensive plan to manage the nation’s specialized human resources is an urgent one.

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