The Korea Herald


Professor’s son enrolls in father’s courses, earns top grades

By Claire Lee

Published : Oct. 21, 2018 - 16:31

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A professor at a public university allowed his son to enroll in his classes and gave him top grades, and the son received multiple scholarships worth about 5.4 million won ($4,776) from the institution, a lawmaker has revealed.

According to Rep. Kim Hyun-ah of the main opposition Korea Liberty Party, the son, who had been enrolled in a different university, transferred to the Seoul National University of Science Technology, where his father is a faculty member, in 2014.

SNUST is a public university supported by government funds. 

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

Since 2015, he enrolled in all eight courses taught by his father. The son received the highest grade in all eight courses. He received at least five academic scholarships from the university. He was exempted from paying tuition for one of the semesters.

According to the lawmaker, all professors and departments at public universities are required to report to the management when their faculty member’s child enrolls in one of their programs. The professor never went through the process, and kept it a secret until his son graduated two years ago, according to the lawmaker. 

The professor and his department also deliberately withheld the information during the parliamentary inspection of the university in 2015 and 2017, respectively, she added.

The case is fuelling controversy as it shares similarities with recent cases where authority figures in education broke rules to benefit their children.

Most recently, a high school teacher allegedly stole exam papers for his twin daughters, enrolled in the school where he teaches.

“A thorough investigation will have to be launched to find out what exactly happened with the professor and his son,” lawmaker Kim said. “If he received the grades he did not deserve, then he did not deserve the scholarships either. Justice should be served according to the investigation results.”