Scrutinize college admissions

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Scrutinize college admissions

The Board of Audit and Inspection has reportedly detected a shocking corruption case involving hundreds of high school graduates who entered colleges through a special admission procedure. The shameful incident testifies to the severity of the deep-rooted irregularities in the government’s efforts to provide disadvantaged students who live in remote rural areas and students living overseas with a fair opportunity to seek higher education.

Corruption in college admission is not new. Yet it continues not only because colleges across the nation have been keen to fill their coffers with tuition from as many students as possible, regardless of their eligibility, but also because some parents are eager to send their kids to college at whatever cost.

Currently, college authorities determine student eligibility based entirely on the documents submitted with the application, without checking if a student really lives in a rural area or foreign country and without verifying if they are from the lowest income bracket. As a result, parents do not mind engaging in illegal activities - such as falsifying their residence - long before college admission season starts in order to take advantage of universities’ lower academic requirements and competition rates.

It is our opinion that those who are capable of orchestrating such a mean scheme are far from what we would call the underprivileged class. They are most likely people with money and power and not the weakest members of society, who deserve such benefits when it comes to college admission.

College admission corruption, therefore, is a serious crime mocking the basic principles of social justice. It is particularly shameful that such a disgraceful practice is still rampant under the Lee Myung-bak administration, which has championed a “fair society.” Given the BAI’s explanation that the admission officer system - which was enthusiastically introduced by the Lee administration as a way to reduce competition in college admissions - could also be stricken with corruption, the government watchdog must clear the system of all suspicions of corruption.

We believe the efforts to root out corruption in the new special admission procedure should be led by the universities themselves. And then they must give demerits to parents and students involved in fabricating documents because otherwise the dirty practice will continue forever. Universities must also make public the names of high schools that conspired with parents to engage in the unconscionable behavior.
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