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Report Confirms University Grade Inflation

Posted September. 15, 2005 08:31,   


It has been confirmed that universities, which have insisted that they cannot trust the academic performance of high school students due to allegations of high school grade inflation, are also susceptible to it.

Ruling Uri Party lawmaker Chung Bong-ju, who belongs to the Education Committee of the National Assembly, announced average grades of graduates from a total of 22 national universities nationwide, including Seoul National University, over the past four years based on materials submitted by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development on September 14. The results showed that nine out of 10 students graduated with B (80 out of 100 points) averages or above.

A total of 39,881 students (92 percent) out of 43,330 students who graduated in February 2005 had B averages or above. The proportion of graduates with B averages or above has shown an increasingly upward trend, standing at 88.5 percent in 2002, 89.4 percent in 2003 and 89.8 percent in 2004.

This result confirmed concerns about grade inflation in universities that some have raised after looking at available statistics. Personnel managers of companies have taken issue with the situation where they have had difficulty measuring the value of applicants’ grades in the process of recruiting new employees because each university seems to have given good grades to its students taking into account its graduates’ employment.

The result of analyzing graduates’ grades in the spring semester at each university from 2002 to 2005 showed that Korea National University of Education topped the list in the proportion of graduates with B or above at 99.7 percent, followed by Pusan National University (98.9 percent), Korea Maritime University (98.1 percent) and Kyungpook National University (97.8 percent). Seoul National University’s 87.4 percent was not an exception also.

Most national universities have their own regulations for grades in which they give students A’s for 20 percent of the total, B’s for 40 percent, and C’s or below for 40 percent. For example, Seoul National University has a principle in which it gives A’s and B’s to up to 70 percent of its students. However, this result showed that universities have failed to abide by their regulations.