|▲ Professor Brian Oras leading the English for Academic Success 2 class which is a part of Liberal Arts courses|
/Photograph by Lho Hyun-jung
Dongguk University has abolished the “Restriction in Retaking Liberal Arts” system which has been operated since 2014. The school had restricted retaking common liberal arts courses in order to encourage freshmen to focus on their academics and to prevent from causing an excessive increase in the demand in retaking courses. Such system applied to new students who enrolled the school since last year. Taking semester course or retaking the course in one’s senior year was still allowed.
Retaking as semester course, however, caused extra tuition, and retaking the course in senior year seemed to be unrealistic due to preparation for employment. Thus, Dongguk has reflected students’ opinion regarding hardships in their academics, and decided to discontinue such system. The Dean of Dharma College, Kim Sung-hoon said, “Donnguk decided to allow retaking liberal arts courses in order to protect students’ right to learn and establish human rights friendly school environment. From now on, the school will precede effective liberal arts and supplement improvement requests in order to increase both students’ satisfaction and effectiveness of education.”
Starting from spring semester in 2016, students can retake total of 35 common liberal arts courses including My Life, My Vision, Practice and Culture in Seon 1•2, Buddhism and Human Being, 21st Century’s Citizen, Writing, Global Great Books Seminar, Regional Studies, Entrepreneurship and Leadership, and English for Academic Success.
The General Student Council expressed their position regarding the school’s decision. The Operating Committee of General Student Council said, “Restriction in retaking liberal arts was the biggest disadvantage the Class of ’14 and ’15 had. However, the school recently decided to discontinue such system in order to protect students’ right to learn and will let students retake the courses starting in next semester.”
The General Student Council cast a doubt on the reason for school's such decision by saying, “Restriction in common liberal arts courses was indeed a great problem to solve, and the student council has set it as one of the main subjects for the students’ general meeting on September 17th. However, the school is changing its system even before the meeting. The student council has requested an abolishment of restriction in retaking courses since last year in multiple ways, but the school did not care for once. All of a sudden, the school decided to discontinue such system.”
The General Student Council believes that the school is afraid of students gathering in one as a whole and claiming their rights. It also said, “Because the school is aware of the students’ general meeting, it is reducing the student council’s requests instantly to show people as if it cares about students’ rights in learning and student’s opinion.”
Lho Hyun-jung firstname.lastname@example.org
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