Korean University Under Fire For Involvement In Political ScandalBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
Korean school Ewha Womans University is facing backlash for giving special treatment to Choi Soon-sil's daughter. Ms. Choi is President Park Guen-hye's confidante. This comes after an investigation proved that the school gave special treatment to Ms. Choi's daughter.
Times Higher Education reported that an investigation has revealed how the school gave preferential treatment to Ms. Choi's daughter, Chung Yoo-ra. Ms. Chung was able to enroll at Ewha Womans University after the institution expanded its list of sports eligible for preferential treatment.
Ms. Chung is a member of the national dressage team. According to University World News, the education ministry has dispatched a 12-strong inspection team to check whether the change in the admissions rule of the university was done so that Ms. Chung can enroll in the school.
"We'll look into whether the change in the school rule, which was found to be favourable to the student, was made under proper procedures, and whether professors applied fair standards in evaluating her [Chung's] attendance and assignments," Education Minister Lee Joon-sik said on Oct. 17. He also revealed that the ministry had already asked for Ewha Womans University to submit all documents relevant to the case.
Moreover, it was also investigated how Ms. Chung received high grades even with minimal attendance and late submissions. Korea Times noted that Ms. Chung's admission to the university has been canceled.
Education Minister Lee Joon-sik announced that their investigation confirmed that the allegations against the school were true. The probe ran from Oct. 31 to Nov. 15. 15 auditors interviewed 118 faculty members in person.
In an investigation by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE), it was also revealed that Seoul Chungdam High School gave Ms. Chung special treatment in terms of grading and attendance. There is a possibility that her high school graduation will be revoked.
"Corruption among high-profile politicians is wide, but education figures such as university presidents have been believed [to be] clean," Jaeho Kang of the Centre for Korean Studies at Soas, University of London, said. The investigation's outcome resulted to Ewha president Choi Kyung-hee stepping down, which is the first in the school's 130-year history.