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Friday,April 3,2020
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Treatment: A Story of a Student Received Special Admission
The special admission problem swept over the whole Korean university system a few months ago. Kim Eu-gene, a member of the top female trio S.E.S, was expelled by Korea University, to which she had special admission in 2000, and she and the university are in a face-to-face standoff. As this issue will have repercussions throughout Korean universities, the prosecution and the press started to probe into the matter and it has grown serious.
This matter recently came out at Dongguk University (DU). A wallposter entitled "unfair Treatment: A Story of a Student Received Special Admission" attracted student notice in early February. The poster says that Cho woon-soo, who was granted special admission in 1999, was wrongly expelled after attending DU for two years.
Mr. Cho returned from America in 1993 when he was a third-year high school student, and received his high school diploma in 1994 from Centennial Christian School (C.C.S.) in Seoul.
After graduating from C.C.S., he applied for admission to universities including Yonsei Univ., Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and Dongguk Univ. However, his application was rejected because his diploma is from a foreign school that is classified as a 'private institute' by the government. The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development said that diplomas from such schools are not equal to those from 'general'high schools, which means C.C.S. graduates are excluded from the national college entrance exam.
When Mr. Cho finished his army service in 1998, he saw a DU advertisement for the entrance exam for overseas students in the Joongang Ilbo. The advertisement said the entrance exam was limited to students who returned to Korea after graduating high school abroad.
He applied for admission to DU because the school gave him an affirmative answer to his inquiry about whether a student who had a C.C.S. diploma could apply or not. After that, he was granted admission to DU in 1999.
However, his admission was canceled as of Feb. 23. The school told Mr. Cho that the foreign high school he attended does not have the proper certification for its graduates to be granted special admission and, accordingly, he was wrongly exempted from the national college entrance exam. Though he asked the school to explain the unfair treatment he received, the school answered with silence.
After that, Mr. Cho put up the wallposter with the help of the General Student Council (GSC). It was not until his wallposter came out that the school took measures. According to the GSC, they took disciplinary action against the staff who gave him special admission to him in 1999 and refunded the two-year tuition fee to him.
However, Mr. Cho decided to file a suit against the school, demanding compensation for the emotional shock he received. "why didn'y they reject my application then? I was unfairly treated as if I had entered the school in an illegal way. I will demand compensation for this,"said Mr. Cho.
Meanwhile, a member of the Admissions staff, who asked to remain anonymous, said,  that time, we didn't examine Mr. Cho's records thoroughly. In a sense, we are also responsible for that matter. However, the issue should not be lightly handled. It would give rise to a series of problems. What about graduates who had special admission? That's why it has been shelved.?
A series of matters raised questions about the obscure evaluation criteria for special admissions. That led Korean universities to strengthen their evaluation of special admission for overseas students. Seoul National Univ. will require a more accurate oral evaluation of language ability, and require applicants to submit the immigration certificate. Ewha Woman's Univ. is debating whether to reduce the number of students who can have special admission from two percent (72 students) to one percent (36 students). Yonsei Univ. is promoting a plan to transfer the term of special admissions for overseas students from October, when they are busy with general admission, to April in order to better inspect the qualifications of overseas students. And DU will introduce personal interviews and examine applicants report cards before selecting them.
Choi Hyun-sup, co-representative of the Educational Reform Campaign, explained in a news report, "special Admission for Overseas Students is necessary to give an equal"  chance to overseas students who have troubles in competing with domestic students. Nevertheless, if trust and honesty among members of our society are not shaped, credibility will be distorted. We must take steps to deal with the situation.
According to the GSC, there are seven students who were treated like Mr. Cho by the school. Careless handling of special admission might give birth to scapegoats like Mr. Cho. The school has to pay special attention so as not to lose sight of the original purpose of special admission

Kim Jung-yoon  sasports@hanmail.net

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