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President Claims 60 Percent of SNU Freshmen Are from Gangnam

President Claims 60 Percent of SNU Freshmen Are from Gangnam

Posted September. 09, 2005 07:43,   


President Roh Moo-hyun’s statement on September 7 that 60 percent of the freshmen at Seoul National University are from the Gangnam area in Seoul seems to have come from misunderstanding the data that 60 percent of new students’ parents have white-collar jobs.

However, the statement has become an issue because it shows President Roh’s deep-rooted prejudice regarding the Gangnam area.

President Roh told Grand National Party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye, “I do not feel animosity against Gangnam people,” he said, “but there is a problem when 60 percent of the students at Seoul National University live in Gangnam, when being a Seoul National University student or alumnus is considered an opportunity in society.”

Regarding this, Seoul National University revealed, “Out of the 3,982 freshman at Seoul National University this year, 416 students, or 12.2 percent, are from Gangnam area, which include the Gangnam, Seocho, and Songpa districts.

It was found that twice the number of students, 25.4 percent, live outside of Gangnam in Seoul. A total of 37.6 percent, or 1,283 students, are from Seoul.

Of those Gangnam students, 15.7 percent entered through the regular admission process, 3.4 percent were selected in the regionally balanced selection process, and 6.3 percent passed the requirements for special admissions.

This ratio has been similar every year for the last 10 years. Gangnam students made up about 9.7-14.5 percent of the total incoming student body, and non-Gangnam students made up 23.2-31.3 percent.

An official from the Uri Party’s education committee said, “After inquiring at the president’s office, we found that the president misunderstood “60 percent are children of people in white collar professions” for “60 percent live in Gangnam,” and made such a statement.”

According to the “2004 SNU Freshman Report” published by the Center for Campus Life and Culture at Seoul National University, 60.4 percent of freshmen’s fathers worked in offices (23.2 percent), management (18.7 percent), and professional (18.5 percent).

Seong-Chul Hong In-Jik Cho sungchul@donga.com cij1999@donga.com