[EDITORIALS]Rational college entry rules

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[EDITORIALS]Rational college entry rules

The final plan for college admissions for 2008, which will be in force for this year’s high school freshmen, will be announced tomorrow. The revised plan, which comes a month later than originally intended because of the controversy surrounding the high school rankings used by universities, has made parents and students nervous. The new admission plan must include proposals for guaranteeing the freedom of universities in admission processes and providing discriminationary power to the College Scholastic Ability Test and school records.
The universities must be given the right to select their own students. There are no countries in the world where universities are not permitted to choose their own students. The competitiveness of universities lies in selecting their own students and educating them according to the objectives of the schools. Imposing an admissions framework that is restricted by government is a dangerous thought that would mean extending the standardization of education in elementary, middle and high schools to universities. In college admissions, the role of government should be confined to supervising high schools to use credible grading systems and to allow the smooth implementation of the scholastic ability test.
The government must not legislate the “three prohibitions” ― a ban on high school ranking systems, the independent college entrance exams administered by universities, and college entrance by financial donations. To restrict the methods of applying academic differences among students by law is ridiculous. Despite standardization, there are differences among academic performance in high schools. To forcibly stop the acknowledgement of these differences is in itself an inequality. If students cannot be screened by school grades or the entrance test, then the universities must use interviews, oral or written exam results.
There should be a large number of narrow rankings of students. According to the Uri Party’s plan, the first group would include the top 7 percent of students, which would mean 42,000. To say that the top-ranked student and the one ranked at 42,000 are in the same category is surely unfair. But a presidential adviser says our system is the best in the world. This is absolutely preposterous. We will see whether the education minister, who promised to keep neutrality in college admissions, will propose a plan that will put a priority on competitiveness.
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