With the advent of the 4th industrial revolution, convergent talents are emerging as a trend. To cultivate these talents, educational institutions are also planning various programs. With this trend, Yeungnam University also began to reorganize the curriculum in 2022. Among the various efforts, the attention of YU members is especially focused on Micro Majors.
The Micro Major program opened this year to revitalize convergence education. By reducing the minimum credit requirements, students can learn other majors they are interested in at a low cost. Micro Majors are divided mainly into two categories. One is the ‘single major type,’ which corresponds to opening a major in a single department. The other is the ‘convergence major type,’ which corresponds to connecting major subjects in two or more departments. Currently, 10 Micro Majors are open, with six single and four convergence majors.
Since Micro Majors have been introduced, YU members have had diverse reactions. The Yeungnam Observer conducted an anonymous survey to hear various opinions on the Micro Major. The survey was conducted for YU Korean professors for five days, from August 8 to 12. Among them, 19 professors responded.
First, The Observer asked about the expected effects of opening a Micro Major. Most respondents said students could access fields of interest more easily (66.7%). Other answers included revitalizing convergence education (60%), fostering future social talent (20%), and deepening major learning (6.7%).
Second, The Observer asked about the concerns of Micro Majors. Most respondents said there was a lack of professors who could manage Micro Major students (60%). There were other responses such as the lack of expertise (46.7%), the problem of diversity in courses (26.7%), and the number of courses available (13.3%).
Finally, The Observer asked the respondents to express their opinions freely so that Micro Majors could develop. Most respondents mentioned the need for various majors. Currently, Micro Majors are only open within existing majors. They emphasized the need to expand to new and diverse fields. The most important part is not just combining existing subjects but opening creative and innovative majors. To do that, they also said that active support from YU and the active participation of professors are essential for developing new majors.
One respondent was concerned that if implemented randomly without clear conditions, there could be confusion with the double major system. So, the respondent said that YU has to make efforts to find and select some students who meet the Micro Major standards.
Another respondent talked about student participation. He said, “It is the first time that a Micro Major has been implemented, so students are unfamiliar with the system. Therefore, it is important to make guidelines and learning samples for each department.”
In 2022, Micro Majors seem to be emerging as a trend in university education. Micro Majors are expanding nationwide, led by universities in Seoul, such as Yonsei, Hanyang, and Sahmyook Universities.
YU is also leading this educational trend. It is time for many people to pay attention so that the Micro Majors can be settled and developed well.