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Number of College Enrollment Seen to Fall to 95,000 by 2009

Number of College Enrollment Seen to Fall to 95,000 by 2009

Posted August. 31, 2004 22:08,   


Restructuring at universities and colleges will kick off as the government will introduce legislation to cut the number of freshmen by 95,000, or 15 percent of 650,000, at national and private institutions and to allow non-viable colleges to exit the market.

Under the new legislation, any college or university which signs up to go public about information will be required to disclose the percentage of new enrollments, the average employment rate, the ratio of part-time instructors against the faculty, and other information. It also encourages annexation and consortiums among national colleges and mergers and acquisitions among private institutions. The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development announced the plans at a college reform forum at Seoul Education and Culture Hall, attended by 400 college deans and university presidents nationwide on August 31.

To improve the competitiveness of colleges, the ministry believes that the education environment should improve first. It plans to reduce the average faculty/student ratio at national universities to 1:21 by 2009 from the current 1:29. It will raise the ratio of full-time instructors to part-time instructors at private colleges to 65 percent from 52.9 percent by hiring more teaching staff or reducing new enrollment.

In this way, the number of new enrollment will fall by a total of 950,000, or 12,000 at national institutions and 83,000 at private institution, in the next five years.

The ministry will sever financial and administrative support for colleges, whose faculty/student ratio exceeds 1:40, by 2006 to encourage mergers and acquisitions or consortiums among universities.

It will seek to introduce legislation to authorize a College Restructuring Commission to determine the academic and financial viability of private colleges and to issue admonition, warning, and executive orders enforcing the sale of school assets, cuts in student body, suspension of new enrollment, resolution of programs, and cancellation of corporations.

Additionally, the government will introduce legislation governing the status of students, faculties and employees, and properties as well as rights and duties during M&A.

The ministry projects that its reform drive, once successful, will reduce the number of two-year colleges and four-year colleges and universities to 359 from 250.

In-Chul Lee inchul@donga.com