[EDITORIALS]Korea’s Keystone collegesThe college entrance application period was delayed for a day after the Internet server handling the applications shut down. The collapse was caused by a massive number of students who tried to log on to the server at the last minute. The police will investigate to find whether the server was hit by hackers in an orchestrated online attack.
It is needless to say that 300,000 applicants and their parents were extremely nervous and confused by the mishap ahead of the deadline. That a country famous around the world for its advanced Internet technolgy would have to delay the deadline for college applications due to such a basic glitch as an overloaded server is shameful. Several similar accidents have broken out over the past four years and the servers were known to be vulnerable, given that student applications tend to pour into less competitive departments or universities just before the deadline. The government should have come out with preventive measures earlier.
Universities and the Ministry of Education are to blame for simply hoping and assuming such incidents would never happen. They are also responsible for adopting a quick-and-easy solution to administering such a critical annual event across the nation.
Some universities prepared in advance by adopting emergency measures and avoided the trouble. They had spare servers or received applications off-line as well, setting up counters where applicants could drop off their papers.
Seeing this, it is apparent that the accident could have been avoided if sufficient preparation had been taken. It is deplorable that universities generally receiving 30,000 won ($28) to 100,000 won application fees, which is not small change, did not even take the simplest precautions.
They should draw an important lesson from this incident: schools need to diversify their application filing methods. Even if we do live in an era in which the Internet can do everything, depending entirely on the Internet is not safe, thus universities will have to accept applications both at counters and in the mail.
Also, although schools have conventionally entrusted the application process to a grand total of only four Internet companies, they will need to consider developing their own programs and recommend that applicants use computers located on campuses. It is almost impossible to block a surge of students applying to colleges that have seats left, so schools might want to consider varying their deadlines.