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Professors: Government Should Not Use University Admissions Policy for Political Gain

Professors: Government Should Not Use University Admissions Policy for Political Gain

Posted July. 09, 2005 03:06,   


On July 8, President Roh Moo-hyun once again asked Seoul National University (SNU) for a concession on its new admissions policy. The SNU Professors’ Council issued a statement that criticizes the government’s excessive interference. So the discord between the government and the school looks likely to go on.

On the same day, the president joined about 350 presidents of universities and two-year colleges all over the country for the “Second Innovation Forum for Universities” at the Ansan Campus of Hanyang University in Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do. At the forum, the president said, “Education issues do not change much, even with a different Education Minister or president in place. So the best way is for both sides to make concessions and talk to each other. I hold no grudge against a single school. They have put their focus on the grades of students. Even with the educational emphasis, Korea doesn’t retain the best talent in important fields.”

While President Roh exchanged greetings with heads of universities and colleges, he simply greeted and shook hands with SNU president Chung Un-chan.

Meanwhile, the Professors’ Council at the SNU held an emergency meeting on the same day and released a statement in which they pointed out, “Public education could not restore the trust of the people because it was exploited to deal with social and political issues. The government is using SNU’s admissions decision for a political advantage.”

The Council strongly expressed its displeasure with the government, saying, “If a politician uses abusive words against a school’s indefinite admissions policy out of political consideration, even borrowing from military terms, while his understanding of the policy is incomplete, that person lacks basic human decency.”

The group of SNU deans held a meeting on July 7 to decide to stay behind SNU president Chung’s admissions decision. Also, other faculty members are planning to convene an extraordinary meeting to discuss the matter on July 11.

Jae-Young Kim jaykim@donga.com syroh@donga.com