Colleges and universities in Korea, enforced to woo high schoolers?
Colleges and universities in Korea, enforced to woo high schoolers?
  • Observer
  • 승인 2007.08.07 15:32
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   SINCE THE YEAR 2002, THE number of college openings has been greater than the number of college aspirants in Korea. This is a new phenomenon in Korea because Korean universities have long enjoyed the laxury of having more college applicants than college seats. Without making any efforts to recruit high schoolers, most universities in Korea could not only survive but prosper.
   Recently however, things have changed. Many junior colleges and some universities have been suffering from insufficient recruitment of freshmen. Colleges and universities in Korea have begun to change their focus in order to survive in these adversary circumstances. It's good for colleges and universities to make efforts to change.
   Many colleges and universities have tried to change themselves in the right direction. Now they are trying to build better a relationship with local communities, by allowing local grade schools and local people to utilize college facilities such as libraries, gyms, and computer-related facilities. Colleges and universities are no longer a secret garden to the local people. Instead they are starting to be seen as a friendly place to relax, an educational center for the people of the community, and an everyday place to visit for personal health training.
    Is there a negative aspect to this change? Yes there is. Unfortunately, by bending to the desires of high school students, colleges and universities in Korea are becoming second-rate educational institutions. Some colleges and universities force professors to leave their offices in order to visit local high schools for the non-academic work of freshmen recruitment. Others competitively hold pop music and dance parties by inviting so called TV stars to woo high schoolers. Still some try to water down school curricula and pander to high schoolers' anti-educational inclinations, for example by permitting students to come to schools three days a week.
    This is indeed a time of crisis for colleges and universities in Korea. The Chinese character which stand for crisis are composed of two different letters, danger and opportunity. Wisdom is called for in order to turn the present danger into an opportunity which will lift up colleges and universities to more qualified positions. Let colleges and universities be themselves, not a marketplace! Let college students be college students, not lazy fondlings of doting schools!

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