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A wind of study restructuring is blowing through Dongguk University

   
 
   
 
Study restructuring is emerging as a major issue at Dongguk University.

This is mainly because of Dongguk’s RE_START project which aims at cultivating global creative and talented students in an effort to become a more prestigious private institution. One of the central themes of the RE_START project is a future-oriented study restructuring. For this, Dongguk formed a study restructuring committee on April 13th to create a study restructuring comprehensive plan.

The restructuring committee is comprised of experts from both inside and outside of the school. They will look closely at social change, convergence between studies, the development of an industry customized education unit and the adjustment of the school’s entrance quota. They will draw up a plan for ways to improve in small scale areas like departments by 2011, and are tasked to come up with a development program for the protection of purely fundamental study and development program for convergence studies by 2012.

There are eleven departments that are under consideration: the department of Creative Writing, the department of Korean Language and Literature, the department of Business Administration, the department of Accounting, the department of Management Information, the department of Philosophy, the department of Ethics and Culture, the department of Physics, the department of Semiconductors, the department of Political Science and Diplomacy and the department of North Korean Studies.

School officials say that the evaluation criteria of study restructuring first and foremost should include a system of classification of study, namely it is a way to judge the degree of segmentation of our school’s departments. Second, it aims at meeting out students and society’s demands. The students’ demands are to be judged by the proportion of students in the school and our society’s demands are to be judged by the employment rate. The final thing to be looked at is the status and form of opening classes between universities.

Among the eleven departments under consideration, the students of the department of Creative Writing are arguing against the proposal from the school to use Twitter and Agora of Daum ? an internet site online-community, and are picketing in front of the school’s main building. A reporter asks, “Why are you planning to do these things?” In response to this question, Ahn Sang-wook, the president of the department of Creative Writing, answered by means of an official document about study reconstructing that was sent out during the summer vacation.

When he was asked about his individual thoughts concerning the department of Creative Writing’s reorganization, Jang Young-woo, a professor of the department, said commonly restructuring is carried out within a certain period of time like when we announce a new education policy or the changing of our university president. At the moment  departments which have low social competitiveness and a small number of students are targeted by the restructuring committee.

He added that the department of Creative Writing was made in 1996 and belonged to the Faculty of Korean Language and Literature, but it had stood alone from the Faculty of Korean Language and Literature and belonged to the college of Arts since 2001. After that, it had played an active part in the field of creative literature and was even awarded literary awards during a literary contest in the spring. On that point, he thought it was a little odd why the department of Creative Writing was under discussion in study restructuring.

Often people think that developing a few specialized departments will be helpful for making our school more competitive. In contrast, school officials say that it is impossible to fully support all existing studies when material and human resources are determined, so he emphasized the competition of departments in high demand to concentrate on. Furthermore, he said there are little differences in making and managing the curriculum, just the departments will be changed and the faculty and the teaching staff will be integrated to reflect the students’ opinions.  A briefing session will be held and aimed at students to fully inform them what is happening.

Professors of the department of Korean Language and Literature revealed their opinions. Regardless of the integration of both departments, this project is in accord with the department’s long-term plan of development, they seek a conditional agreement. What they seek is a study system reorganization that is positive in its developmental direction to both departments.

A presentation about study structure reorganization was made to gather the opinions of the colleges and the departments with the dean, assistant deans, and the deans of the department and one teacher of the departments in attendance on July 21-22, 2011. School officials say that a final study restructuring comprehensive plan is to be decided in August, 2011 and the discussion at a university administration level will be conducted from September to November, 2011. The university plans to finalize its study structure and an entrance quota for the 2013 school year on December, 2011.

Kim Yu-young  tbfor700@dongguk.edu

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