Board vets rural students’ admissions

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Board vets rural students’ admissions

After investigating hundreds of students from farming and fishing villages admitted into colleges nationwide between 2009-2011, the Board of Audit and Inspection revealed on Tuesday that the legitimacy of many of these students’ admissions can be called into question.

The board investigated some 400 students on the suspicion that there was a noticeable difference between their high school location and their parents’ place of employment.

For students from villages who are given special admission, both students and parents need to live in that area. But an investigation showed that while students graduated from schools in the countryside, their parents worked in Seoul or other big cities.

Universities admit students from villages through this special admissions method despite their academics not being up to par with students from the city in order to recruit students from rural areas.

Last year, there were some 12,000 students enrolled in 4-year colleges nationwide through the special admission program for rural students, including top-tier schools such as Seoul National University, Yonsei University and Korea University.

A member of the board said Wednesday, “Last year, after auditing colleges regarding high tuition and inspecting all-around management, the suspicion of illicit admission through the special admission for farming/fishing village students was also exposed.”

The same source revealed that it was “difficult to reveal exactly how many students were admitted illicitly at the moment.”

Seoul National University got rid of special admissions for students from villages in 2010, while at Korea and Yonsei Universities, the parent and child have to live in a rural area for at least six years to apply via the special admissions system. Other schools require the family to reside there for at least three.

The investigation revealed that in many cases, the parents were the ones who registered their addresses falsely in order to boost their child’s rate of acceptance.

One educator stated, “It is said that areas close to Seoul such as Yangpyeong, Namyangju and parts of Gyeonggi that are easy for the parents to commute from are preferable places to register their addresses falsely.”

The board also stated that after the final inspection if illegitimate admissions are found, a mass retraction of admissions may be in order.


By Cho Hyun-suk [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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