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Education Ministry, “No Changes”

Posted June. 26, 2007 03:16,   


The education ministry and universities are in a feud over the percentage of high school records used in the admission process of universities. The compromise proposed by universities seemed to put an end to the dispute, but the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development has taken an uncompromising attitude, changing the situation.

Deputy Education Minister Seo Nam-soo announced “the ministry’s position and plan for the dispute over the percentage of high school records” at the Central Government Complex, Sejong-no, Jongno-gu, Seoul on June 25. The document urges universities to publicize the admission plan which include increasing students’ high school records in the admission process by up to 50 percent.

But some universities oppose the requirements, saying the government is attempting to seriously undermine the autonomy of universities, and plan to refer this issue to the professors’ council. There could be a head-on confrontation between the two sides if the professors’ council is held.

Some lawmakers raised questions about the education ministry’s decision to give administrative and financial sanctions against the universities for not meeting the ministry’s requirements for the high school records.

The education ministry said, “To fulfill the purpose of the university admission process of 2008, high school grades will be categorized into nine levels, and each should be scored separately. Therefore, giving the same score for different levels cannot be allowed. Universities must maintain the percentage of high school records in the admission process. The education ministry will change the formula for the high school score percentage when universities argue it is unreasonable.”

The ministry added, “If universities are unable to increase the percentage for this year’s admission process and the reason is convincing, they can consult with the ministry to devise the plan to raise the percentage annually.”

Deputy Minister Seo said, “But the consultation will be allowed only in extremely limited cases. Seoul National University (SNU)’s plan to give the highest score to the applicants of the 1st and 2nd level of high school records will never be allowed. If the SNU pushes ahead with the plan, the ministry will impose sanctions."

The ministry demands that universities should announce the final admission schedule for 2008 by August 20 and for 2009 by the end of August. The detailed plan for 2009 should be submitted to Korean Council for University Education.

But the National Council for Admission Deans said, “It is virtually impossible to announce the schedule by August 20. We will propose changes to the schedule.”