University Structual Reform Shows Unexpected Grade

It’s a B forDKU 안희진, 이훈기, 이정하l승인2015.10.06l수정2015.10.07 15:16l341호 1면







▲ They are doing demonstration about University Structural Reform. (Google)

In August, the Ministry of Education announced the results of the university evaluations as art of their tentative reform plan for the higher education sector. Dankook University (DKU) earned a B grade for their efforts.

  The Dankook Herald (DKH) interviewed Lee Eun-ji (Action Officer, University Evaluation of Education Office) about the University Structural Reform (USR) project. The purpose of USR is to help post-secondary schools prepare for a rapid decrease in the university aged population who have the necessary academic ability for higher level education and to increase the competitiveness of our higher education system. “We anticipate a reduction in the number of applications to universities in the near future. In fact, applications for post-secondary studies in Korea have been declining since 2013. If we do not respond effectively to this new reality, the system of higher education could suffer devastating effects,” she argued.

  Does the USR project rating have a direct effect on reducing enrollment at a given university? Ms. Lee said that it did not have a direct influence because at the moment, the next steps are just pending. The Education Office has suggested that colleges earning a grade of B to E should have their enrollment reduced to 5,439. This recommendation however is not mandatory at the moment. If proponents of the USR pushes ahead with their plans, the bill mandating the project would have to pass during the regular session of the National Assembly this year.

  The DKH also interviewed Kim-Ki Hong (Education Director, Jukjeon Campus (Student Council). DK-dk life as the representative of Dankookian. He explained what he thinks about the results, “The Student Council has already clarified the position. We think the evaluation by the Ministry of Education is unilateral and many Dankookians agreed with our opinion. Actually, on this matter we disagree with the Ministry of Education, not with DKU.”

  The DKH also showed him the data conducted by Daily Joong-ang in 2014. The Joong-ang Daily Evaluation ranked all of Korea’s universities and DKU finished in 33rd place. This is much lower than other competing universities. Mr. Kim said “The Student Council doesn’t care about this data. The Daily Joong-ang is just a private organization conducting their own survey and their standard of evaluation was ambiguous and showed little objectivity.”

  Finally, the DKH asked about the prospects of improving rank of DKU with the Joong-ang daily University Evaluation. He said “First, the Joong-ang daily University Evaluation is much different from the university structure evaluation. The goal of our school this year is to enter the top 25 from our position at 33. DKU will also try to make steady progress on a regular basis, so we hope that students aren’t discouraged by the University Structure Evaluation.”

  To accomplish these goals, DKU must try to increase the internal stability of their operations. He added, “We all have to realize there is a practical way to be better DKU, so there will be steady development. Of course, it is disappointing to hear that DKU earned a B grade, but it is more important to note that the grade will result in nothing more than a practical change in DKU. Students and executives at the university need to pay attention to the school situation and strive for innovation, so it can improve its ranking. If all Dankookians try, we can get an A.”

  The Student Council met with the Planning and Evaluation team at the Jukjeon Campus. The DKH asked if the Dk-dk life considered any countermeasures before the results of the evaluation of the tentative reform by Ministry of Education were announced. Kim said “The council met with the Planning and Evaluation team at school. We asked for solutions. We learned that the school will not be affected materially through a reduced number of enrollments. In the past, DKU got CK-2 business with the condition that we reduce the number of enrollments. There is no legal validity to the grade impacting enrollment at this point in time. If we try a little harder, we will get the necessary A grade on our evaluation. The university needs to look at class management, scholarship assistance, and its employment rate in particular.”

  The DKH interviewed Nam Myung-woo (representative, Planning and Evaluation Team, Jukjeon Campus). Their task is evaluating, consulting other (system) divisions, training organizations and coordinating organizations and managing the media assessment which is the university's own assessment.

  The DKH asked about the existence of Task Force Team preparing to address the findings of the university structure evaluation. He said “Actually, there was no separate department assigned to this process, so each professor handled their preparation separately. After last November, however, DKU established Education Planning Office specifically to handle the task of university structure evaluation.” The DKH asked about their opinion on the reason why DKU was unable to get an A and if there is a chance to be any loss as a result. “Of course, we were embarrassed when we got a B. However, I want to mention that the gap between the grade A and B is so tiny. There will be little damage to the image of DKU, but having said that, I’m sure DKU will get higher grades in other evaluations,” he explained.

  The DKH also mentioned the university evaluation of Daily Joong-ang. Both the Student Council and Mr. Nam agreed the USR is much different from the university evaluation of Daily Joong-ang. "The goal of DKU is to enter in the top 25. Moreover, DKU has been trying to progress on a regular basis, so I hope that Dankookian won’t be discouraged by this,” Mr. Nam added.

▲ They are doing demonstration about University Structural Reform. (Google)

  The value of the university can’t be defined by the USR alone. However, if the USR project is the yardstick measuring whether the university is worth existing or not, the situation has to change. DKU should continuously try to increase its internal stability.

  The most practical method to develop DKU is to keep working hard on its development and to continue to provide a better studying environment. It’s disappointing that DKU already got a B grade, but what is more important is to show some real change at DKU, not just a grade change. Therefore, Dankookian and faculty should pay closer attention to this situation and strive for greater innovation. If all the members of DKU try to achieve this goal, DKU can and will see better results.

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