The current university admission system has both
positive and negative aspects. One way to ensure forward progress is to listen
UNIVERSITY ADMISSION systems are a frequently debated
issue in Korea. The government emphasizes enhancing public education's role in
university admission preparation, while the universities insist on the right to
choose whichever students each university wants. On the other hand, parents and
students ask for an acceptable entrance system which is practiced without any
Standing between government policy and public opinion,
university admission system wovers in the middle. To what extent should
universities' freedom of choice be insured? According to a survey by The Yonsei
Annals, about 73.4% of Yonsei students thought "the university should have the
right to choose students freely as long as they consider government concerns and
public opinion reasonably". Even 21.5% said that "the absolute right of the
university in the entrance system" should be guaranteed.
But is the university system designed well enough to give
unlimited authority to universities? To view the Yonsei Univ.? admission system
from students' perspectives, the Annals surveyed 1,025 Yonsei students from Sept. 2 to
Sept. 7. The survey was not conducted by random sampling,
and therefore may contain statistical errors.
Korea's SAT should be considered as the major enrollment
First and foremost, how assessment tools are used as a primary
filter in the enrollment system needs to be defined. Eunlim Chi (Prof. of
Graduate School of Education Kyung Hee Univ.) concluded in the thesis
"Evaluating the Predictive Validity of Various College Admission Materials" -
based on detailed statistical results measured over 3 years - that a students'
High School GPA was found to have more predictive validity than other admission
Yonsei Univ. students' preferences, the Annals asked the following question: On
which assessment tool do Yonseians think the university should focus? 36.5% of
the students answered that the university should focus on "Korea's SAT". In
contrast to the experts' research, most students would value the Korea's
SAT as the most effective admission criterion. "Korea's SAT actually is the
utmost objective assessment method, for it is an exam which everyone takes under
the same circumstances and evaluates students' ability with assured standards,"
stated Lee Won-jae (Associate Prof. of Yonsei Graduate School of Education).
students who think the interview test is adequate; among 18.9% who took
the interview test|
students who think 'the type specialized for foreigners and students
educated abroad' as most unqualified|
students who say the university should admit all students to majors before
they enter the university|
The interview test, is it valid?
For early admission
decisions, the interview has always been a controversial issue. The validity of
an interview test as an important factor in enrollment was often questioned.
Therefore, to examine the pertinence of the interview test, the Annals asked the
question, Do you think the interview test is an appropriate assessment
tool? to those who took the interview test. 39.5% of the students answered that
they thought it was "adequate to test the applicants' academic potential".
"Although the specific process of the test needs to be changed a little, I agree
with the primary idea of an interview test," stated TaeKyung (Soph., Dept. of
Sociology). A different point of view can be seen from another interview. "Maybe
it is quite different now, but when I had the admission interview, my questions
were too easy, such as 'What is your future goal? What do you think about
domestic companies using more and more English?' The atmosphere was free and
warm, so that we could not even think of it as a serious admission test which
evaluates students' intellectual ability," said Kim Ho-jung and Kim Ha-young
(both Srs., Dept. of Business Admin.).
What would the university say about
this? "The purpose of this interview is to seek students who comply with
Yonsei's vision; leaders who follow the principles of truth and freedom,"
explained Park Jin Bae (Vice Pres. for Admissions). There is certainly a
misconception between the students and the university regarding the goal of
interview test. Where do you stand on this issue?
Essay test reformation
The current hot-button issue related with admission assessment criteria
concerns Seoul National Univ.'s new essay test. Seoul National Univ.
recently announced the form of an essay test which addresses more
intellectual problems than the current essay test. The aim is to examine
students' creative and logical thinking skills. Approximately 76% of
university professors thought the new essay test should be adopted in
order to choose well qualified students, according to an interview with
education experts conducted by Upkorea. Another survey from "Urgent
countermeasure committee to prevent the use of high school ratings as well
as individual university entrance exam" revealed civil organizations'
opinions that they think the new essay test is not realistic and will
inevitably increase private education fees (75%). The Annals asked the
question, Are you for or against the adoption of new essay test? 50.8% of
the Yonseians were "for the adoption of the new essay test" and only 25.5%
of the students were "against" the idea. Though Yonseians were generally
not in favor of the essay test as an effective assessment criterion, many
students opted for a new one.
Inappropriate admission types
The truth is that various
admission types do exist, causing most of the current debate about the
university entrance system. In fact there are more than 15 admission types in
Yonsei Univ. This diversity can be beneficial to some students while it can act
as a disadvantage to others. Would students agree with the idea that all the
university enrollment types become uniform? Which leads us to the question, What
do you think about diverse university admission types? From the result, 44.5% of
the students were "in favor of various admission types", and 34.4% answered
"some admission types should be abolished".
Then, which admission type do
34.4% of Yonsei students think should be abolished? 44.1% of these students
chose "the type specialized for foreigners and students educated abroad" as most
unqualified. "In my opinion, Yonsei students seem to picture students who apply
for admission as 'foreigners and students educated abroad' are those who are not
highly qualified to enter Yonsei Univ. and may be more privileged, due to their
family and childhood environment," Lee pointed out.
In fact there have been
many pros and cons about this admission type. Nevertheless, "the type
specialized for foreigners and students educated from abroad" had reasons that
justified it being maintained. "This admission type is designed to reward the
children of people who worked hard promoting Korea's development abroad," said
students who support the adoption of Seoul National Univ.'s new essay
students who say the UIC makes them feel intimidated or
students who oppose to the usage of the high school rating lists; compared
with 70% of all university
Major rather than area
Since students who entered the
university with their majors predetermined need not work hard in their
freshmen years to attain the majors they want, the inequality of attaining
majors between different admission types of students has surfaced. Students who
enrolled in Yonsei Univ. from academic year 2001 to 2005 under early
decision admission system 1 & regular decision admission system were admitted
to the general studies area. However, students who enrolled in Yonsei Univ.
under early decision admission system 2 were admitted to a
Therefore, the Annals asked the question: Currently, admission units vary as
admission types vary. What sort of admission unit do you prefer? The leading
answer was "by majors" which was chosen by 25.4% of the students. "After all,
students come to university to focus on their majors. Hence, entering university
in the area unit is not effective but rather a waste of time. We can study
more about our majors when our majors are predetermined," said Park Dong-hee
(Soph., Dept. of Electrical & Electronics Engin.).
On the other hand, 22.7% preferred the
admission unit to be classified "by areas". "I think entering university without
a predetermined major gives unprepared students the time to seriously think
about which major to choose," said Kim Sung-hwan (Fresh., Area of Social
Studies). As the results show, Yonsei students' opinions on admission units
varied. But the university should acknowledge that all the arguments stem from
one reality: different admission classifications being used in the same
UIC; international or incompatible
Currently, Yonsei Univ. is preparing to open classes in the UIC
(Underwood International College). The UIC is a highly selective four-year
liberal arts college. All classes are held in English and the UIC offers a
low student/faculty ratio which enables close contact with top-rated
faculty. Since the UIC is an independent college, different from regular
Yonsei colleges, we asked; What's students' opinion in the introduction of
the UIC? According to the result, 38.1% of students held "positive"
feelings about the UIC, 20.7% "negative" and 40.6% answered "ambivalent".
Another question was asked. Do you think the UIC makes ordinary students
feel intimidated or inadequate? 51.8% of the Yonsei students said the UIC
gave them an impression that "the UIC looked special compared to other
colleges in Yonsei Univ." "I guess that UIC chooses special students who
are able to speak English better than ordinary students. Also, they listen
to lectures from well-known scholars with worldly experiences whom
ordinary students can rarely meet. In this sense, I feel different from
those UIC students," stated Kim (Soph., Dept. of
High school rating lists
Do you think the current system is
well designed and provides a fair opportunity for applicants, regardless of
their regional and family background? 42% of the students thought the university
admission system was not administered fairly. "I guess last year's issue about
Yonsei Univ.'s high school rating lists may have affected Yonsei students who
answered the question in negative way," said Lee Won-jae (Associate Prof. of
Yonsei Graduate School of Education).
Yes, the high
school rating list has influenced students to think negatively about the
fairness of Yonsei's admission system. Then, what do Yonsei students think about
universities using the high school rating list? A survey showing that about 70%
of the students were opposed to the use of high school rating lists was held in
October 2004 with 736 university students participating, conducted by both the
Campustimes and the Scout (Job Placement Firm). Yonseians' opinions on this
matter differed greatly from the previous survey results. Only 33.6% of Yonsei
students were opposed to the idea of the high school rating lists usage. "The
reality is that there is a big discrepancy in students' performances according
to their high schools. I think it is more rational to make use of the ratings,"
said Kim Da-eun (Fresh., Area of Nurs.) Surprisingly, 33.6% of Yonseians were
sure about the effectiveness of the high school rating lists and 14.7% of the
students thought they benefited from the high school rating lists.
From the results presented above,
we can ascertain Yonsei students' mentality regarding the overall Yonsei
admission system. Yonseians did not agree totally with the current admission
tools, units, process and types. Nevertheless, university students' voices about
university admission have never been adequately heard. Don't successful
university candidates deserve consideration as crucial monitors of the school
admission system? As concerned readers, what do you think? The results of the
survey should act as a suggestion to the university in order to make admission
system fairer and healthier. When the university students' voices are included
in admission reformation, the applicants' bright futures could be guaranteed
instead of stress and pressure.
of Sci., Engin. 340
Col. of Lib.Art, Bus. &
Soc.Sci, Edu 510
Col. of Hum.
Col. of Music 25
Col. of Den.,
Med., Nurs. 56
Col. of Theology