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[Newsmaker] Admission rule breaches found at six colleges

Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae speaks during a meeting. (Yonhap)
Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae speaks during a meeting. (Yonhap)
Six universities, including the nation’s most prestigious Seoul National University, were found to have breached the government-set evaluation standards in their portfolio-based admissions process, the Education Ministry said Wednesday.

The six caught with rule breaches in the ministry’s special inspection from Nov. 13-Dec. 6 are Seoul National, Korea, Sogang, Sungkyunkwan, Kyung Hee and Konkuk universities. The probe into the six institutions’ past admission records was a follow-up to a general inspection conducted a month earlier on all institutions.

In 2018, Sungkyunkwan University was found to have passed 37 out of a total 82 applicants who had disclosed the occupations of their parents and relatives in their admission materials onto the next round of admissions, in breach of the rules. Four of the 37 gained admission to the university.

Applicants are not allowed to reveal the occupations of their relatives in their applications. Applicants listing such information are disqualified.

Seoul National University failed to disqualify two foreign applicants whose recommendation letters contained their language proficiency test scores in 2017.

In 2018, the same college was found to have dropped all 17 applicants who applied for a major in the special admission process for students from rural areas. Interviewers gave the same, lowest possible scores to all of them, ignoring comparative evaluation rules.

As a result of the probe, a total of 108 people at those institutions have received penalties. Of them, seven faced heavy disciplinary measures and 13 received light ones. The ministry has also issued administrative orders to five institutions.

The Education Ministry said it will improve its own inspection system to ensure greater fairness in the portfolio-based admissions process while working to expand the quotas for admission based on annual college entrance exam results.

The ministry also vowed to abolish the use of faculty recommendations by next year’s nationwide college admission process.

“Should similar violations occur in this year’s college admissions process, the Education Ministry will sternly respond to them with zero tolerance,” Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae said.

By Ko Jun-tae (ko.juntae@heraldcorp.com)
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