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[Editorial] SNU’s Endeavors to Produce Versatile Talents

[Editorial] SNU’s Endeavors to Produce Versatile Talents

Posted June. 21, 2007 03:01,   


The Seoul National University will implement the double major system which will make new students have another major from next year. Students will choose their second major based on their own future plan or in relation to their first major.

The new policy will help the university to produce more all-around and creative graduates by emphasizing interdisciplinary research and providing greater freedom to select majors. This can be also viewed as an attempt to live up to “the age of Consilience,” which will bring a grand convergence between studies and knowledge. The understanding of basic science and advanced technology is also necessary to those majoring in liberal arts and knowledge in history, psychology or design will help science or engineering majors become more innovative. The ever-changing 21st century desires people fully equipped with leadership, flexibility and excellent communication skills.

The SNU School of Business’s decision to open its doors for students to complete double majors should be applauded. The School of Business, which allowed only 40 percent of its students to take on another major, will double this number. The reason for this decision may be partially to do with the changing job market in which a degree from the SNU itself no longer guarantees a good job for its recipient. This implies that graduates have to be equipped with business minds in order to survive in a free market, whatever their major might be.

Double majors are common in universities in advanced countries. Many American students have to complete two to four majors to graduate. Professional research or vocational training is the job of graduate schools. Harvard University, which recently reorganized its general subjects, has also developed a curriculum that enables students to cross liberal arts and sciences.

Although the double major system broadens opportunities for students, it is a challenging task for professors as they will have to carry out research in wider areas and supervise students with broader knowledge. The SNU must successfully make the new system take root so that society and each individual student will be able to benefit from it.

The SNU has been pressured by education authorities that threaten curtailment of financial aid unless it gives greater weight to academic records in admission. In order to take the right path of cultivating bright future leaders, it must not give in to the demands of political power and authorities that go against the trends of advanced education in the world.