These days we are facing one of the worst job markets. The unemployment crisis is getting more and more serious and accordingly 9 qualifications for employment have arisen; a good educational background, the necessary credits, additional languages, volunteer services, a good TOEIC score, etc. Students have to prepare for all of these things in order to get a job. As a result of the tedious nature of job hunting and the severity of the current unemployment crisis, the number of university students who procrastinates graduation, known as the ‘NG tribe’ is on the rise.
The NG tribe refers to the non-graduating students who postpone completion of their degree and preparation for the employment market. The Dankook Herald (DKH) looked into student opinions about postponing graduation through an online survey and interviewed a representative of the Center for Career Services.
According to our survey of Dankookians (students of Dankook University), some 60% of student respondents said that one reason why they postpone graduation is the existing program prejudice against university graduates. They think businesses prefer student interns over full time employees, and as a result, they encounter disadvantages when job hunting. 20% of student respondents said that they wanted to experience various things before graduation, while 13% of them favored putting off graduation so they could apply for activities that are reserved solely for students.
The DKH wondered how many Dankookians put off graduation. Bae Sung-su, an employee of the Dankook University’s (DKU) Academic Services Team, gave us the data we were looking for. They told us 407 DKU students are currently delaying graduation.
The College of Engineering has the highest number of students putting off graduation with 43.5% or 173 of their students in this college delaying their full time working career. The second and third ranked numbers of students putting off graduation are found in the College of Business & Economics with 25.8% or 105 students delaying graduation and 12% or 49 students in the College of Social Sciences doing the same.
The DKH interviewed Yeo Ji-yeong (Section Chief, Center for Career Services). The Center for Career Services produces various programs and provides employment consultation for students. According to the survey, many students think undergraduate students have more advantages for employment than graduates. However, is this impression real? Yeo Ji-yeong said, “When companies recruit new employees publicly, most state that they accept both graduating students and graduates as candidates. In other words, they do not discriminate between applicants. They usually only differentiate between career employees and new employees, not between prospective graduates and graduates.”
She also explained that differentiating between undergraduates and graduates is rare. Very few corporations consider the student’s number of years after graduation or recruit new employees only from prospective graduating students
Many universities do not like the NG tribe, because the more they have, the lower the grade they earn in a university assessment. What this means is that NG tribe increases the number of students attending the college, and as a result, negatively impacts the student teacher ratio. Some universities have even toughened up the conditions for putting off graduation and a few have even rejected the practice altogether. The DKH researched DKU policy for dealing with the NG tribe.
|▲ Many students postpone their graduation.|
On the DKU website, the DKH learned about the tuition rules for students who put off graduation. Those students can register for courses and remain enrolled for as many as 9 semesters. They also pay tuition fees according to the number of credits they take on. The determination of university tuition fee is as follows:
Then what are the qualifications for students who wish to put off graduation? Student should complete graduation with the following qualifications:
Students must have volunteer time, a good English score, and have completed a minimum of 130 credits. Students who put off graduation but remain in school, must pay 1/8 of their tuition.
Those students who wish to take advantage of the library, yet put off graduation while remaining in school part time, are treated the same as full time students and can use all school facilities. However, students who put off graduation and choose not to complete their course of study, are treated the same as graduates. Those students can get a library card if they pay 30,000 won.
Today’s unemployment crisis is serious. In reality, the number of unemployed youth in Korea is 56 million, an increase of 7.6 million over the last year. A great number of people make an effort to obtain jobs and so do students. However, according to our survey, 53.3% of Dankookians will put off graduation, if they cannot get a job and 33.3% of Dankookians think it is unsuitable to pay for putting off graduation. DKU needs to consider student comments and accept their ideas.
김강산, 윤정애 firstname.lastname@example.org