Universities complain of gov’t pushKorea’s top universities say the new admissions officer system which started last year has been pursued too rapidly by the Education Ministry, thus failing to provide an efficient alternative to past policies.
In a survey of admissions offices of 40 universities across the country, most schools wrote that the new admissions officer system has caused serious side effects and that they had little time to prepare to execute the system properly, according to a report by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
The schools handed their reports to the ministry by late June last year. The ministry then forwarded them to the education, science and technology committee at the National Assembly.
Seoul National University was one of the first schools to adopt the new system.
However, in the survey the school’s admissions office said the “the new admissions officer system requires long-term planning to be executed properly, but due to the Education Ministry’s wanting fast, short-term results from this policy, it is hard to make the system efficient over the long-term.”
The new system was introduced early last year as part of a government effort to reform the college admissions procedures. In March last year, the Education Ministry selected 40 universities nationwide to receive a combined 23.6 billion won ($20.5 million) to introduce the system. The core of the system was in the admissions officers, which were hired by universities to screen candidates for school enrollment. The ministry said that the system was designed to lessen the reliance on private education institutions and tutors by diversifying the admissions process which had mostly focused on annual national college entrance exam scores.
Yonsei University had a similar view of the new system.
“Under these circumstances, students will not be able to agree with the results of their admissions. Also, the system can lead to the popularization of other forms of private education,” the school wrote.
Out of 344 admissions officers from 47 universities which have adopted the new system, 24.1 percent were hired after last August, which means that they had less than six months to prepare for spring admissions. “Because the new admissions system is spreading too quickly among universities, high schools do not have the time to prepare students for the admissions,” said Jeong Gwang-hee, head researcher of the university admissions department at the Korean Educational Development Institute.
There are, however, some voices in favor of the system’s adoption in the long-run. “After the introduction of the new admissions officer system, there is generally more awareness and interest in the variety of classes and teaching methods in the nation’s high schools,” said Kim Gyeong-sook, an admissions officer at Dongguk University.
Seoul National University said that it applied the new system to students from small, regional areas, low-income brackets, special education students and foreigners. The school said that they selected a student through this new system on the basis of his “determination and aggressiveness in overcoming his circumstances.” The school said that although the student, from Okcheon, North Chungcheong, was the lowest in his class throughout elementary school due to being in and out of orphanages, he studied hard by himself throughout middle and high school, earning high grades and becoming class president.
A student at Yonsei University was chosen for his potential to be a global leader. He had high scores in English and Japanese in school and also completed a triathlon, which reflected on his physical capabilities. He also had other skills, including in debate and writing.
By Kang Min-seok, Kim Sung-tak [email@example.com]
More in Social Affairs
Daily infections drop below 100 but untraceable cases cause concern
Seoul sues Sarang Jeil Church for W4 billion
'Traceless' infections are Korea's new coronavirus worry
K-pop band Seventeen to promote Seoul with cooking, style tips