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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

(Korean society) SNU admittance, locality and social strata

A table provided in a Hankyoreh article shows that a disproportionate number of Seoul high school students are admitted into SNU, the top university as far as difficulty of admittance is concerned. 25% of high school pupils are in Seoul, but 39% of those admitted to SNU graduate from a Seoul high school. SNU itself has done the survey; it didn't make the more precise data on the northern and southern parts of Seoul public, as the discussion on high-school standardization (or abolition of the standardization) has been a bit heated lately.
The numbers of Gyeonggi-do are a bit surprising; 17.5% of high school students but 12% of the admitted to SNU; I've been under the impression that the Gyeonggi "new town" areas have been filled with education feverish families with the intent of getting their kids to the "best" schools there are. So it's time to have a more balanced view of Gyeonggi-do.

So the SNU is going to implement measures to select students more equally around the nation.
I still wonder whether this is going to alleviate the old idea that "to raise a horse, send it to Jeju island; to educate a child, send him to Seoul."
(Damn English with its gendered pronouns.)

Ohmynews has a piece on the same theme; among the 683 high-school graduates who were "adolescent heads of family" (ch'ôngsonyôn kajang), only 23 entered a university. Government welfare covers only until the age of 18, after which one is on one's own.
In a nation where 18% want to pay more taxes to finance social welfare but some 70% want the governmental role in welfare to be bigger (my earlier entry), the plight of these youngsters cannot be expected to get much relief soon.

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