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Seoul Nat’l Univ. to Introduce New Recruitment Program

Seoul Nat’l Univ. to Introduce New Recruitment Program

Posted April. 04, 2003 22:21,   


Seoul National University has unveiled a new recruitment program aimed to put more focus on school performance records rather than the results of entrance tests.

The new system, which seeks to select 20% of students based on school records every year, will be in place for the year 2005 test. 10% will be allocated to students doing particularly well in mathematics, science and English, who have won prizes in contests.

The school authorities announced the new guidelines on April 4, adding they will release the detailed action plans by September this year.

▽Give More Chance to Students in Local Areas = The university will seek to strike a balance between students living in large cities and those in rural areas. Earlier, President Jung Woon-chan had unveiled an affirmative action plan to recruit students in local areas. The renewed plan came as professors and administrators pointed out that the initial plan could backfire in terms of quality of students and the principle of equal opportunities.

The new system will take into account school records, location of schools and family incomes when selecting students, so as to give more chances to students living in small cities and villages.

˝By putting more focus on school performances, we aim to wide-open the door for students from local areas,˝ said the university. ˝After conducting a simulation test, we found that the portion of students living in Seoul fell significantly from 40% to 28%.˝

▽New Guidelines = The school plans to continue selecting 30% on an irregular base and 70% through the year-end entrance test. Of the 30%, the regional balance program will account for 20%, and the program selecting talented students take 10%.

For the year-end test, application procedures will be significantly simplified, while looking at scholastic aptitude of applicants. The school also plans to adapt the 3% quota set for students living in rural farming and fishing areas to the students who live in the areas where nobody can be granted to enter the school through the regional balance system.

˝With the new recruitment program, we can give more chances to smart students from many parts of the country.˝

▽Reactions = Most teachers in local areas welcomed the decision as an effort to give more chances to students nationwide.

˝Students living in small cities or towns tend to be less informed and in a disadvantageous position when it comes to interview,˝ said Park Hyun, a teacher in Jinju High School, Gyeongnam. ˝When the university begins to select 20% of students based on school performances, it will offset those disadvantages.˝

˝I believe that the new system will work against students in the so-called specialized high schools,˝ said Kim In-gyu, a teacher in Seoul Science High School.

˝The regional balance program will put focus on school records, the selection of talented students on prize-winning records and the year-end test on a comprehensive test and essay writing,˝ said Yu Byung-hwa, a director at Korea School Test Institute. ˝Yet, the university must keep in mind that some high schools might modify school records of their students.˝

Jin-Young Hwang buddy@donga.com