Ewha Womans University will suspend the plan to establish a lifelong education college following protests from students, university dean Choi Kyung-hee announced Monday afternoon at a press conference.
Tension between the school administration and students has persisted, as students perceive Choi -- with a reputation among the student body for making unilateral administerial decisions -- as merely delaying the plan, while still being reluctant to call it off.
Choi Kyung-hee (Yonhap)
The establishment of the new lifelong education institution would bring debt-ridden Ewha government support of 3 billion won ($2.7 million). It would give working women who have missed out on a university education the chance to bolster their academic qualifications.
Ewha students have opposed the plan, however, citing its proposed degrees in new media production, wellness and hybrid design as being redundant with preexisting curriculums, which they anticipate will lead to an overall drop in the quality and value of the education provided by the school.
The students claim the school is contradicting itself by “selling degrees” to women who are already in work, further corroborating the diploma-fixated culture of Korea.
(The Korea Herald)
(The Korea Herald)
At Monday’s press conference held on university grounds, dean Choi said that “the limited time we had in taking steps to establish this college hindered our efforts to discuss it with the constituting members of the school,” referring to the haste in which the plan was announced drawing fire for lack of communication.
Choi said she will hold the dialogue the students wanted on the condition of their ceasing their protest and ending their occupation of university property.
The students, however, have requested Choi come to the scene of the protest for the talk.
On Tuesday, the day following Choi’s press conference, the students of Ewha continued their protest for the sixth consecutive day.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (email@example.com)