Police investigate students faking disabilitiesTwo university students that are being investigated by police for submitting forged visual impairment certificates to universities were additionally found to have claimed that they were visually impaired when they took the college entrance exam, gaining some 1.5 times more test time than others.
Four students admitted to Korea University and the University of Seoul from 2013 to 2014 under the status of students with disabilities were found to have submitted fake disability certificates to the universities, the Ministry of Education found out recently in an ongoing inspection of the entrance system for four-year universities.
Police took up the case and said on Saturday that two out of the four students had also taken the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) under the status of applicants with disabilities. Applicants with disabilities gain some 1.5 times more test time.
The two students had submitted medical documents to the Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation, the institute that drafts the CSAT, falsely saying that they had level-six visual impairment. People with a visual impairment disability in Korea are divided into six levels, with level six being the least severe.
“We will be asking the police to investigate how the medical documents were procured by the two students,” said an official from the Education Ministry.
The two students, upon taking the test with the extended time, then submitted the forged disability certificates to the universities and were admitted.
CSAT scores are worth some 70 to 80 percent of an applicant’s assessment criteria for Korea University and the University of Seoul.
The two universities began the process to cancel the admission of the four students.
The students were also found to have each paid some 30 million won ($28,140) to a broker who helped them forge the disability certificates. The broker, a 30-year-old man, was confirmed to have used his own disability certificate that proves his level-six visual impairment status to forge the documents. The students told police that there is another broker involved in the case.
“It is unclear yet if the two brokers worked together as a team,” said a police officer. “We know that they once worked in the same private education company.”
Police said they will be requesting arrest warrants for the two suspected brokers.
The four students face charges of public document forgery as well as obstruction of the college admission process.
“The students may think that the case will end with their admission cancellation, but what they did can be punishable under criminal law,” said a police officer.
As for the two students who submitted fake medical documents to the Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation to gain more CSAT exam time under the entitlement of people with disabilities, police will be investigating the suspected forgery involved in the medical documents.
BY KANG HONG-JUN, ESTHER CHUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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