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Tuesday,November 29,2022
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Paradigm Shift: Admission Officer System

A student listens to a lecture delivered by the poet Shin Gyeong-rim and then submits a report.  This, by the way, did not happen in a Dongguk University class.  It is a constituent part of the new admissions' officer system, (starting this year) a procedure called 'self-recommendation'.  The admission officer system is already up and running in the U.S. and Japan. Its intention is to give students some autonomy when they apply for university. Instead of waiting for a set interview whereby university professors recommend someone after taking careful note of the grades, the student is able to recommend herself/himself. Since 2007 ten Korean universities have taken up the admission system. The number is growing all the time.  This year, for instance, 90 universities have adopted the system.  Kim Byeong-jin, a staff member at the Korean Council for University Education (KCUE) explained why Korean Education has adopted the admission officer system: "The method of selecting students through the admission officer system can be viewed as a paradigm shift within the university entrance system.  In other words, the former system had problems nurturing the kind of creative students that our society needs."
For this reason, DU has also introduced this system, and is now selecting students in the aforementioned procedure. Moreover, DU has a plan to expand this system over the coming years.  At the moment, there are seven category types within the admissions:  "Self-recommendation", "Leadership Qualities" and "Offspring of Multicultural Families" and etc.
The "self-recommendation" category is recognized as the most remarkable one among its kinds.  Before the advent of this, students had had to receive references from their teachers or directors.  This provides another option for those whose academic experiences do not fit the standard pattern. Unusual as the new system might first seem, it is important to note that, after a short adjustment period, people are finding it fairly easy to recommend themselves.  In this system, student grades are not as important as other factors.  This means that DU can select excellent students without having to rely solely on the consideration of grades.   
Similarly, when the Information & Culture was first built, DU failed to envisage the number of users.  Now, it is adding faculty offices to the original building. If the school authorities had considered this years ago, then the current expansion would not have been necessary.. 
The landscape of campus is being perceptibly altered by its many ongoing construction projects.  For instance, barriers with nondescript colours are littering the DU campus. This is spoiling the beauty of the campus and is also making students disgruntled.  Recently, many high-school students visited DU for possible future admission.  The shoddy look of the DU campus may have left them with a bad impression. It may also, in the long run, damage DU's public image.  In other words, DU might have missed the chance of acquiring excellent students. 
According to a construction site spokesperson, the whole enterprise is bounded by legal limitations.  For instance, noise-levels reaching over 75 decibels are prohibited.   She stressed that:  "The work could have been done cheaply. The school, however, is sensitive to noise-pollution; that is why expensive soundproof walls have been set up so as to reduce the problem."
In DU's defense, the university endeavors hard to solve the problems.  For example, it keeps all building deliveries to the margins and employs security guard to stand-by while heavy machinery is in use.
The spokesperson added: "It is unfortunate that some class work is being interrupted.  But I hope people understand that the noise is a temporary disruption. I hope that they also understand that noise disruption is part and parcel of construction work. 
The Campus Master Plan shows that the university will undergo more construction work in the near future.  The planned International Hall is one example of this.  Once the project finishes, it is expected that the building will enhance the facilities as well as the quality of general education at DU.  But, if the hall disrupts campus life further, people may begin to wonder if modernization is more trouble than it's worth.
The building of new facilities on campus should proceed without too much inconvenience.  Though the school has made an effort to cut down the noise and thereby reducing the number of complaints, there are still lingering doubts about its sincerity on this matter.  It is imperative, then, that DU shows more consideration in regards to students' complaints and come up also with some clear solutions.  

Kim Ji-heon  .

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