What Is Best for Universities?
What Is Best for Universities?
  • Kim Lee Kyung-hee
  • 승인 2007.12.16 23:16
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Sookmyung Women's University.

On November 1, Dongguk University announced a college competition system.  This system has special rule that university gives extra estimate to excellent college following each college project’s result every year.  The maximum cost of extra estimate is 2,000 million won.  Students’ opinions about this system are diversity.  One Dongguk University student said, “Considering that university society has congested, this competition system has more strengths than weaknesses.”  However there is pessimism about this system, too.  Another Dongguk University student said, “But most students think that our university will invest in only practical divisions, likes law or business majors, and they will give an extra estimate to these colleges.”  Like the latter student says, this situation has happened to most Korean universities.

Universities’ competition system is not only this year’s issue.  Some famous universities located in Seoul?like Seoul National University, Yonsei University, or Korea University?already brought in this capitalistic system into effect in 2003.  Mainly, universities have invested in employment-centered colleges, like business administration, law, or engineering colleges.  Also the National Assembly carried a bill about law schools last July; many universities have invested intensively in their law college programs hoping to become an authorized law school.  Actually after the special bill about law schools was passed, one university law school in Seoul invested an extra seven billion won for establishing a law school building.  According to  one research, the adverse cost of investment in law school could be as much as five billion won.

The science departments are in a similar situation.  Especially the investment for engineering college has increased intensively.  About this intensive investment about a specified college, there is a great diversity of opinion.  Officers of a university said, “If we acknowledge the level gap among colleges and focus on each college’s characteristics, the management efficiency will increase.”  But another officer said, “But if we carry on this competition system, it will induce the rich-get-richer and the poor-get poorer among more popular colleges and the less popular colleges likes humanity or science college.”


Agree or Disagree


The supporters of college competition system say that it is realistic.  Yoo Seung-kyung (20), Sookmyung Women’s University student said, “Universities have limited investment, so it is natural for universities to invest in more popular colleges.  Also, I think that if universities want to grow up more than now, universities have to invest in their main colleges.  In other words, it is the best way to focus on their strengths.  The growth of all the colleges in a university is the latter problem.  For development of university, invest to main college most of all.”

But an opponent thinks differently.  Kim Jae-hyun (20), Yonsei University student said, “University is that place where students and professors study knowledge.  Also each scholarship has necessity according to its light.  These days, many universities turn away human studies and natural science majors, but invest only in practical studies.  Pure knowledge is the foundation of practical knowledge.  Can you imagine engineering without mathematics and physics?  Or can you imagine social science without philosophy?  If a university still turns away pure knowledge, practical knowledge which is based on pure knowledge will break down.  Most of Korea universities have to know that university’s development of knowledge based on investment of pure knowledge.”


The Choice of University


Investment of practical knowledge has been still hot potato.  Why do universities choose to only invest in practical knowledge?  Because society decides a university’s level through absolute results likes the numbers of successful candidate to examination which selected judicial officers like attorney or prosecutor, and political officers.  Also society has consider big cooperate recruiting, too.  According to one research, majority of big corporations want to hire a graduate who studied business administration in university, so university is placed in situation that can’t be otherwise.  One university expert said “This well-meaning competition will improve good competitive power among universities and have a role as the positive points.”  But he mentioned that a university is a cradle of study before one of the markets in capitalism.  Following this expert’s advice, the important point is that universities and students understand this fact, and think carefully what is the best way for university.

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