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At Least One Student per County to Attend SNU

Posted October. 18, 2006 03:02,   


Seoul National University (SNU) is considering plans to change the standards for Regional Equal Selection to have at least one student from every city (si), county (gun), and district (gu) in the country admitted to the university from as early as the 2009 academic year.

The Seoul National University Regional Student Support Council (Co-chairmen Sunchang County Magistrate Kang In-hyeong and Dean of the Office of Student Affairs Lee Jeong-jae) sent a petition to President Lee Jang-moo of SNU on October 17 saying, “In districts that have fallen behind, there are many instances in which no student has been admitted to Seoul National University for five, 10 years. We request that one student every year, recommended by mayors or county magistrates, be admitted to Seoul National University.”

The Regional Student Support Council is an association made together by Seoul National University and local communities for the purpose of resolving inequality of the educational environment of regional areas.

Regarding this matter, president Lee implied that he was reviewing the matter positively during an interview broadcasted on radio on October 16, saying, “We’re thinking of opening up more opportunities for qualified students in the regional areas. This will allow most cities and counties to have at least one student admitted to the university.”

Seoul National University first introduced Regional Equality Admissions in 2005 by accepting three recommendations from every high school nationwide, and admitted 677 students through this process this year.

However, among the 677 students admitted for the 2006 academic year, only 50 students were from “gun” (counties), bringing on the criticism that the objective of equal selection was not realized. Of the 234 cities, counties, and districts in the country, 77 had no students admitted to the university, an actual increase from 71 in 2005.

Co-chairman Magistrate Kang said, “Although the purpose of Equal Selection is good, it is not being fully realized. If Seoul National University admits one student from every under-developed region, the tuition of these students will be supported by the district.”

Seoul National University plans to increase the Regional Equality Admissions quota from the current 670 to 800 in 2007 and 1,000 in 2008.

Admissions Management Director Kim Yeong-jeong said, “Although the lack of sufficient time will not allow us to change the 2008 admissions, we are reviewing ways to reflect the contents of the petition afterwards without changing the current regulations too much.”

Also, with president Lee pointing out on October 16 that special consideration for gifted science students is necessary, the university is also considering introducing a new admission process for these students.