[EDITORIALS]University corruption

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[EDITORIALS]University corruption

Corruption in university admissions has surfaced again. A professor of physical education at Ewha Womans University was arrested on charges of accepting 50 million won ($43,000) from a parent of a student in return for helping get the student admitted to the university by giving good marks for the student’s performance on the physical talent test. Yesterday was the last day for enrollment of students in the regular admission process. Many students and their parents have been waiting anxiously for a call notifying them of admission to a good university. Instead, they heard frustrating news. Were the talent tests in fine arts and music colleges fair? Was there any corruption involved in essay tests and interviews at other colleges? Was the wrongdoing limited to Ewha University? Whenever an admissions irregularity occurs, all higher-education institutions are under suspicion.
Any corruption is bad, but university corruption makes us want to give up. We feel more desperate because the lack of ethics, the devotion to worldly possessions and a lack of conscience about corruption by educators is the same phenomenon we see elsewhere in our society. Why can a student enter a university by offering a bribe? Corruption is found more often in physical education and artistic fields because the weight given to the talent test is relatively higher than the College Scholastic Ability Test score and high school grades. Naturally, students want to take private lessons from professors who will test them for admission, and giving bribes to them is a regularly repeating event.
About 10 year ago, irregularities involving a music college and the dance department of a woman’s university were uncovered. Since then, several systems have been used to prevent bribery. Students and the professors who tested them were compartmentalized; some testers were recruited from other universities and the whole test was videotaped. The recurrence mean that there are still weak points in examination management. The Ministry of Education must inspect the examination management of Ewha University and hold accountable those responsible. The ministry must also investigate other universities and take measures to prevent more of these problems from occurring.
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