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National universities may go independent

Posted July. 28, 2000 13:52,   


Starting in the 2002 academic year, national universities will be granted status for taking full responsibilities for school management, under an Education Ministry proposal.

Accordingly, their presidents will be employed through a public bidding process, instead of the current method of electing them from direct polls by faculty members.

If the plan is confirmed, tuition fees for national universities will be raised considerably. Tuition for national universities today are much lower than that of private universities.

The ministry commissioned a panel to draft measures for the development national universities, headed by Prof. Kim Shin-Bok, dean of the Administrative Affairs Graduate School of Seoul National University, said that the panel would finalize a plan by the end of next month, after further intensive study of the program.

According the national universities` independent management program, nine national universities, including SNU, would be required to decrease the number of enrolled students in the four-year colleges, while the number of students of the graduate schools would be increased, thus transforming the present universities into research-intensive educational institutes.

At the same time, plans are underway to merge or abolish duplicated academic programs and to promote exchanges of classes between universities. Yet as some universities are opposed to the plan on the ground that it would run counter to the universities` independence, there is room for compromise among the educational institutions.