The Korea Herald


Med schools expect 1,500+ new admission slots next year

By Park Jun-hee

Published : April 28, 2024 - 14:51

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An empty classroom at a medical school in Daegu (Yonhap) An empty classroom at a medical school in Daegu (Yonhap)

Medical schools that have been allocated additional seats anticipate opening a minimum of 1,500 new slots for the upcoming year, as they are set to make final decisions on their admissions availability following the government’s decision to grant flexibility in the quota allocation.

The government earlier said it would allow medical schools to freely adjust new seats within a 50 to 100 percent range of the enrollment quota given to them for the 2025 academic year. It announced in February that it would increase the quota by 2,000.

The limit has been capped at 3,058 per year since 2006, when it was lowered from 3,507 to assuage doctors protesting the policy of separating the prescribing and dispensing of drugs at that time.

While the admissions quota for the 32 medical schools that received the increase is slowly taking shape, the shrinking of quotas among national universities is likely to happen, according to reports Sunday, citing educational authorities.

Kyungpook National University, which has 110 seats in its current quota, has decided to accept 45 additional medical students for next year, half of the initially proposed increase. Gyeongsang National University and Jeju National University will recruit 62 and 30 new students, respectively, coming to half the planned expansion.

Chungbuk National University, which got the largest increase of 151 new admissions spots, will reportedly settle on its quota this week, along with Kangwon National University and Chungnam National University.

Private schools such as Yonsei University in Gangwon Province and Daegu Catholic University received seven and 40 new slots, respectively. Along with other private colleges such as Inje University, Kosin University, Dong-A University, Chosun University, Keimyung University and Yeungnam University, these private medical schools will likely fill all of their increased admissions quotas.

In line with the adjustment, the medical school enrollment quota would increase by 1,500 or 1,700 seats, from the currently proposed 2,000, according to observers.

Each university must submit its finalized enrollment quota to the Korean Council for University Education by the end of this month.

Meanwhile, five medical schools will likely start their first day of school next month, with students showing little signs of willingness to return and as medical professors are resigning.

Konyang University, Chosun University and Inha University -- which were initially to start classes Monday -- have postponed the start of their new semesters, according to reports. The three schools have yet to specify the date for the new academic calendar. Soonchunhyang University has not determined when classes will start, while Chung-Ang University starts school Wednesday.

While the finalized quota still hangs in the balance, Lim Hyun-taek, the new president of the Korean Medical Association, on Sunday repeated the demand for the total scrapping of the expansion plan, warning he would not respond to any talks with the government otherwise.

“This is not a conflict between the medical circle and the government, but (the government’s) unilateral abuse of power. If the government realizes the gravity of the situation, it should apologize to the public and the medical community as soon as possible,” Lim said at the KMA’s general meeting.