[Letters] When you accept failure, you become a winner

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[Letters] When you accept failure, you become a winner

Recently the crisis at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist) has been getting worse and there are lots of opinions coming from both students and professors. Newspapers nowadays usually reflect only the opinions that are against the changes at Kaist and demand the resignation of the president, Suh Nam-pyo. People, of course, want things to be easier and it isn’t easy for Korean students to learn in English or for professors to teach in English but if you never leave your comfort zone, you can never grow up.

Kaist’s policies: tuition fees based on GPAs and course teaching in English work toward this global mindset. Are there any globally renowned universities that give scholarships to students without considering their academic performance? Are there any respected universities that don’t use English as their main language? Moreover, is it OK to let the tax-payers of Korea pay for students, no matter how they’re doing in the university?

The student council doesn’t reflect all the opinions of the student body, especially the ones from international students. Most of their posters are in Korean and their discussions are in Korean (so non-Koreans at Kaist don’t even know that there are discussions between students going on.)

I have to say that there are a lot of people who still support the president of Kaist, his changes and his desire to lead the school toward becoming a globally-known university. In just 3 days on Facebook we gathered more than 200 people who want to support Mr. Suh.

Please take a look at their opinions and think about them. In order to achieve something big, we have to try hard and believe in the result. I know that there are a lot of people who do not feel good about being on top in Kaist’s competitive environment. I know that sometimes it’s hard to accept failure. But it’s exactly what we have to taste in order to grow up. We can’t always be better than everyone. Only when we can accept failure can we become a winner.

Kaist needs some improvements to student’s life, not criticism of all the positive changes Suh has made that has made Kaist what it is.

*Letters and commentaries for publication should be addressed “Letters to the Editor.” E-mailed letters should be sent to eopinion@joongang.co.kr.


Chan Le, an international student from Kaist

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