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Medical school quotas expanded after 27 years by 1,509

Posted May. 25, 2024 07:51,   

Updated May. 25, 2024 07:51


The government has successfully concluded its initiative to expand medical school admissions. This marks the first increase in the medical school quota in 27 years, since 1998. As a result of this effort, 40 medical schools nationwide will admit 4,567 new students for the upcoming year.

On Friday afternoon, the Korea Council for University Education convened a college admissions screening committee meeting at Conference House Dalgaebi in Jung-gu, Seoul. During this session, they reviewed and ratified the 'Changes to the University Admissions Screening Implementation Plan' for the 2025 academic year. Consequently, it was determined that the number of students admitted to 40 medical schools nationwide for the next academic year will be 4,567, representing an increase of 1,509 compared to this year.

Woosong University President Oh Deok-seong, who took part in the deliberations on this day, addressed reporters following the meeting. He said, "All university presidents, city and provincial education superintendents, and parents present at the meeting unanimously endorsed and supported the proposals put forth by each university per the quota adjustment plan outlined by the Ministry of Education. There was no dissent during the deliberative process." Responding to concerns regarding the potential decline in educational quality due to the significant expansion of medical schools, President Oh clarified, "This decision falls within the purview of national policy and lies beyond our jurisdiction."

For the first time in 27 years since the inception of Jeju National University Medical School in 1998, the number of medical school students has increased. Despite previous attempts by the government to address the shortage of doctors, including efforts in 2020, opposition from the medical community hindered these endeavors. It's worth noting that during the division of medical labor in 2000, at the behest of doctors, the quota was reduced by 351, exacerbating the existing shortage of medical professionals.

Medical groups have strongly opposed the outcomes of today's deliberations. "The rapid expansion of quota will inevitably lead to a decline in educational quality," a Korean Medical Association official said, emphasizing the urgent need to halt further increases in student intake to avoid the worst scenario. Conversely, the National Medical University Professors' Emergency Response Committee, which had initially declared a 'one-week closure' in response to the quota increase, reversed its plan on this day. They acknowledged, "We are compelled to continue treating seriously ill and emergency patients, given the current circumstances."

이문수 기자 doorwater@donga.com