Keeping admissions fair

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Keeping admissions fair

The admissions officer system, which has been introduced at an increasing number of universities this year, has expanded. According to the Korean Council for University Education, an organization comprised of four-year post-secondary institutions, 118 universities will select 37,628 students through the admissions officer system next year.

That means 53 percent more freshmen will be selected through the system than this year. In the two years since the system was adopted, nearly one out of 10 new university students will be picked by admissions officers.

The admissions officer system is the right one for the times because it is based not only on exam scores but also on student potential and aptitude. However, we’re concerned about whether the system isn’t being hastily expanded before ensuring that it will be implemented in a fair and objective manner.

Fortunately, the council decided to conduct a monthlong on-site investigation into the matter starting Dec. 14 to see how the system has functioned this year.

The first step should be to assuage concerns about the system’s objectivity. The way to accomplish that is through a stringent investigation. Officials must confirm that universities have enough admissions officers, ensure that the officers are qualified for their jobs and determine whether they have any shortcomings that could affect the fairness of entire process.

The investigation must not end up being a superficial test, a family affair of sorts.

The universities found to have problems with their systems must do everything they can to correct them. If they are unable to fix what’s wrong, it may be necessary to penalize them with funding cuts, but it would be better to give them the tools to implement the system properly. One solution could be to select schools that have been successful in implementing the system and promote them accordingly.

Furthermore, the investigation shouldn’t stop at the 47 schools that have received funding for their admissions officer plans. Other universities must also be examined, and even if only to the point that their independence in the admissions process isn’t compromised.

The key to the successful implementation of the admissions officer system will be ensuring that it is fair.

Rather than simply driving up the number of students to be selected by this practice, universities must first lay a foundation for objectivity and trust.
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