Lowest-ranked universities to see cut in funding

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Lowest-ranked universities to see cut in funding

The Ministry of Education yesterday designated 19 universities and colleges in the lowest 15 percent in terms of their operations, restricting government financial support starting next year.

In an assessment of the nation’s 334 universities and colleges, the education authority singled out the schools in the poorest condition and suggested a restructuring via a reduction in their admissions quotas.

The ministry has sought to reduce university entrance quotas after it was discovered that XXX that there were too many universities in Korea based on the country’s number of college students and that many of them were operated irresponsibly.

Earlier this year, the government also began to invest 1.2 trillion won ($1.1 billion) in making universities more specialized in order to reduce the number of freshmen.

The assessment, which looks at nine criteria, including alumni employment rates and the number of students who received scholarships, encouraged schools to shrink admissions quotas by providing extra points.

“By suggesting a quota reduction in exchange for additional points, some universities and colleges … reduced their quotas by a total of 4,244 for next year,” a ministry official said.

One college went so far as to cut its entrance rate by 28 percent for next year to escape falling into the lowest 15 percent.

The ministry initially selected 35 universities in the lowest group and notified school officials on Aug. 22, explaining they could move out of the bottom tier if they shrank their admissions for next year by a certain extent.

Sixteen gave up admitting a total of 2,801 new students next year. The 19 remaining schools announced by the ministry yesterday rejected the suggestion to shrink their quotas.

Cheongju University, for instance, said it opted to forego some financial support from the government and maintain its entrance quota because a decrease in the number of its incoming freshmen would worsen its financial situation.

Those schools are excluded from being able to bid for government-run projects for financial support from next year. They will also be prohibited from increasing their admissions in certain departments. Additionally, new students at those institutions will be barred from receiving specific government scholarships based on their schools’ performance.

Seven out of the 19 universities and colleges in the bottom 15 percent in the poorest condition were dealt even harsher financial penalties.

Freshmen at those seven schools will be restricted from receiving government scholarships, and some will not be eligible for student loans in full.

BY KIM BONG-MOON AND YOON SUK-MAN [bongmoon@joongang.co.kr]

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