Education Ministry revokes stars’ degrees
The Ministry of Education announced on Monday that it will rescind the master degrees of seven K-pop stars who graduated from Dongshin University for violating school regulations.
The Ministry held their first hearing on Dongshin University in Naju, South Jeolla, and KyungSung University in Busan after the universities were accused of conducting illegal admissions.
The ministry concluded that seven graduate students from Dongshin University, including singers Yong Jun-hyung, Lee Gi-kwang and Yoon Doo-joon from boy band Highlight, Jang Hyun-seung, a former member of boy group Beast, and Yook Sung-jae and Seo Eun-kwang from boy group BtoB, received full attendance credits even though they did not fully attend their classes. The ministry decided to cancel their degrees and take disciplinary action against professors who were involved in providing special treatment to the singers. The ministry will also cut financial support to the universities.
The announcement comes after SBS reported in August that Dongshin University had provided several members from Highlight with full scholarships in 2010 and turned a blind eye to their absences. Although the university argued that internal regulations from the Department of Broadcasting Entertainment allowed its students to replace absences with their broadcast activities, the ministry denied them, saying that the regulations were not stipulated at the time the singers were enrolled. The ministry concluded that the singers’ attendance could not be approved. Fans of the singers, meanwhile, are decrying the ministry’s decisions and placing blame on the university, arguing that the singers are innocent.
According to a Facebook comment that received over a thousand likes, “[The singers] took their college entrance exams as well as their major exams, received special scholarships for ‘increasing the reputation of the college,’ and have even provided vocal lessons to other students in return for full attendance points. [The school] cheated them.”
BY YEO YE-RIM [firstname.lastname@example.org]