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Consolidated 6T Disciplines to be Guaranteed Government Grants

Consolidated 6T Disciplines to be Guaranteed Government Grants

Posted June. 15, 2005 04:26,   


Under the second Brain Korea 21 project scheduled to be implemented next year, universities can no longer merely go through the motions of competing for grants.

The project will make universities compete fiercely for survival and accelerate the restructuring of the universities, such as consolidating colleges, especially science and engineering.

When the project runs smoothly, students and their parents are expected to receive higher quality education.

The BK21 committee, led by professor Oh Se-jeong of Seoul National University and professor Kim Yong-hak of Yonsei University under the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, submitted a final report on the BK21 business plan to the ministry on June 14. The report includes ways to encourage each university to compete for grants, instead of forming a consortium of universities, to strengthen the review process through mid-term evaluation, and to induce colleges to consolidate.

The government stands to provide annually 400 billion won for seven years based on the report, giving away a total of 2.8 trillion won.

The second business plan, following the first one from 1999 to 2005 which the paper obtained exclusively by Donga-A Ilbo, states that the project will not confer grants to entities in the form of a consortium, allowing only individual university to participate in the project.

The previous method of coalition entities that consisted of “leading universities and participating universities” ended up in distributing grants without competition among universities.

Instead, the new rule will ease the qualifications on departments and on the number of professors and allow the top 30 universities around the country apply for the grant. The project will choose six to 10 universities under 20 departments (five humanities departments and 14 science and engineering departments), giving 20 percent of the grants to humanities departments and 80 percent to science and engineering departments.

In particular, the project newly built a “convergence and educational system” area so that universities applying with consolidated “6T disciplines” (bio technology, environmental technology, information and communications technology, nano technology, space technology and culture technology) can receive 20 percent of the government grants (40 billion won annually).

Considering universities from the top 30 and universities that lose in the last step will not be granted any money, participating universities will be forced to revamp their university structure.

Moreover, three years since the implementation of the second round of the BK21 project, after mid-term review in 2008, those who are not up to the mark will be disqualified and instead other universities will be included in the project.

Seong-Chul Hong Jae-Young Kim sungchul@donga.com jaykim@donga.com