Students probed for false applications

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Students probed for false applications

Jongno police are investigating whether 50 applicants who submitted university applications through the newly established admission officer system forged their records to inflate their qualifications.

According to the Jongno Police Precinct, officers began investigating the case after obtaining information in the middle of January that some university-hopefuls submitted forged award documents.

“So far 50 applicants are on the investigation list,” an officer said. There are a total of 76 universities that run an admission officer system, with 36 located in metropolitan areas.

Investigators asked all those universities to cooperate with the investigation.

If the universities find records that any of the 50 applicants applied for admission, police requested that they hand over paperwork submitted by students, including letters of recommendation, foreign language exam scores and award records.

Investigators are currently examining admission documents submitted to police by 50 universities, including Seoul National University. They said that 10 of the applicants under investigation had applied to those universities through their admission officer systems, but none of the students won admission.

“We haven’t yet found solid charges on the 50 applicants who are under suspicion of inflating their qualifications,” a police officer said. “We’re awaiting other universities’ submission of documents on the suspects.”

Universities that adopted the admission officer system select students by examining an applicant’s self-introduction letter, teacher recommendations, study plan, foreign language exam scores, award records and documents showing extracurricular activities.

The new admission measure was introduced in 2008 by the Education Ministry as a way to give more freedom to universities to choose their students by examining the applicants’ performance in a wide range of areas instead of relying solely on their College Scholastic Aptitude Test scores and high school grades.

The police probe is the latest in a series of law enforcement efforts to crack down on irregularities by public officials, particularly in the education sector.

Declaring a war against corruption, President Lee Myung-bak said earlier this week that his administration will devote its efforts to root out the perennial irregularities committed by public servants, making it the priority for his third year in office.


By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]
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서울시교육청 관계자는 25일 “조사 결과 은행지점장 자녀 등 경제사정이 어렵지 않은 학생 상당수가 확인됐다”고 밝혔다. 이 관계자는 “서울의 13개 자율고 중 한두 곳을 빼고는 대부분 편법 합격에 관련된 것으로 보인다”고 덧붙였다. 또 다른 관계자는 “부적격 의심자 200여 명의 명단을 자율고에 넘겼다”며 “학교별로 26일까지 부적격자를 가려 보고할 것”이라고 말했다.

시교육청은 26일 구체적인 편법합격자 규모와 대책을 발표할 계획이다. 시교육청은 또 부적격자에 대해 자율고 입학 뒤 일반고로 전학시킨다는 방침을 바꿔 3월 전 일반고에 강제 배정키로 했다. 안병만 교육과학기술부 장관도 이날 “해당 전형에서 불법적으로 학생을 채운 교장과 책임자는 고발하겠다”며 “제도를 악용한 학부모도 당연히 고발 대상”이라고 밝혔다. 이에 따라 해당 자율고와 중학교, 학부모 간에 책임 공방이 치열해질 전망이다.

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