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SNU College Rejects Graduate School Plan

Posted November. 04, 2005 07:13,   


Seoul National University (SNU) Medical College made the final decision to maintain its current education system rather than converting itself into a professional graduate school.

As Seoul National University, which is a state-run university, opposes the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development’s (MOEHRD) policy to introduce medical schools, keen attention is being paid to what possible impact the decision could have on other universities.

“In a meeting of chief professors of the medical college on October 21, we discussed whether to change the college into a medical school and agreed that creating a medical school would not be helpful for the future of education,” announced Seoul National University on November 3. “We decided to maintain the current system as it is, even if it means government research funding may be held off as MOEHRD might exclude us from the Brain Korea 21 (BK21) project.”

Planning Manager Han Joon-gu of SNU Medical College said, “The medical school system has some advantages, but it also generates too high social cost. Another problem is that the age of male applicants shifts upwards due to their military duty. Furthermore, most of the students aim at earning high incomes rather than at research, making it difficult for us to expect greater research capabilities from them.”

Yonsei University, Hanyang University and other major private universities, which have been opposed to the ministry’s plan, have not made final decisions, but are taking cautious approaches to this issue as they fear they might be excluded from the BK21 project for non-compliance.

On November 2, Yonsei University Medical School formed a “Committee for Exploring the Trend of the Medical School System,” a tentatively named group consisting of 10 professors, to consider whether to adopt the medical school system.

“We decided at the general professors’ meeting in May not to convert into a medical school. As we should take into account government aid through the BK21 project, we will make the final decision by December,” said an official at Yonsei University Medical College.

Jin-Han Lee likeday@donga.com