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“We Will Not Practice a High School Ranking System,” Say 33 University Presidents

“We Will Not Practice a High School Ranking System,” Say 33 University Presidents

Posted September. 20, 2004 22:12,   


The Korea Council for University Education held an extended-members meeting with the presidents of 33 universities nationwide and Vice Minister of Education Ahn Byung-young in Seoul on September 20. The council addressed its stance on the recent controversial issue of a high school ranking system, saying that it should not be implemented.

As the council has decided not to exercise a high school ranking system, some universities which had reflected different scholastic abilities for different high schools will have to face disagreements.

University presidents of Yonsei, Seogang, Sungkyunkwan, Ewha, and Hanyang universities, five among six private universities that are suspected of applying different ranks to their early decision applicants’ high schools and currently under investigations by the ministry of education, as well as the president of Seoul National University, attended the meeting. The president of Korea University, the last of the six suspected schools, did not attend the meeting.

Lee Hyun-chung, secretary general of the council, said at a press conference, “The presidents have agreed on the fundamental direction and purpose of university entrance acceptance policy improvements after the 2008 school year for the normalization of high school education. We also stand on the same understanding that the high school ranking system should not be practiced, no matter what happens.”

The presidents also added, “The Ministry of Education and the council will cooperate to stabilize 2008 university entrance policy improvements and work on overall improvements in university education.”

The meeting was held at the request of the Education Ministry to settle controversy surrounding the high school ranking system, and there were split opinions on this between the members of the gathering.

Due to this matter, even though the presidents agreed upon the issue, some of the presidents in attendance voiced their complaints, saying, “The ministry is not allowing self-determination rights to universities and is trying to teach us collectively here, with all the presidents gathered around.”

A related official at the council explained, “The presidents have agreed upon the general theory of high school normalization, but there were differing opinions for the details among the universities.”

In-Chul Lee inchul@donga.com