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Thursday, August 26, 2004

(Urban space) Gangnam housing prices and education

Chosun Ilbo is wondering whether the Gangnam housing prices will fall due to the proposed new university admittance system and the broadcasts by the EBS channel for the preparation of the high school graduation test (sunûng sihôm). In the new admittance system proposed to start in 2008 the school marks (학교생활기록부 or 내신) should be given more weight on the expense of the graduation exam, from which points would be abolished and nine grades brought in instead (report in Chosun).
Anyway, the article quotes some real estate agencies/analysts, which predict that in case the exam weighs less in university admittance and private schooling becomes less important, there is a high chance that people will be moving out from Gangnam. On the other hand there's also the opinion that Gangam will maintain its status and position.
It is noted that the chônse (jeonse) prices have fallen 4.4% this year in Gangnam; the fall in the whole Seoul has been 1.6%. This is explained with the smaller demand for the high-class high-status private educational facilities (hagwôn) concentrated in the area.

Small additional piece of info on the development in housing prices, related to the demand for educational facilities and opportunities: in 1988 a 32 pyeong (100 sqm) apartment was 94 mil W in Gangnam-gu and 63 mil in Noweon-gu; at the moment the price in Gangnam is three times of Noweon (744 mil vs. 212 mil).

As commentators have already noted, it is questionable that the planned new admission system will affect the competitive nature of the education system. It will be difficult to cure a cultural/social thing with structural changes.

As much of the admissions has been based on cold numbers of the test scores, it has on one hand been equal in the sense that one's social position has had only indirect influence on the test score - but that influence has been huge. Now new channels of influence are likely to appear - and Koreans if someone will find those out.

Hankyoreh's story : education specialists: people may adjust to the new system
Joongang Ilbo: changing admission system: intensive book reading expected in preparing for essay writing and interviews.

Remembered my post from January about a study on the social background of the students admitted to the Seoul National University since 1970. Quote myself quoting the study:
What the study shows that the government attempts at creating a more equal environment for university admittance have not been successful; on the contrary, changes in admittance procedures have produced more unequality. Entrance exam questions have been made easy to alleviate the influence of private tutoring, but it has only made it easier for those with resources for private tutoring. And when a new entrance system has been introduced, the admittance has been more equal for the first year, but after that those with more resources have figured out a way to take the advantage of the new system.

Here's a summary from the changes of the university admittance system (source):
1953년경까지 : 대학별 단독 시험제도, 대학이 자율적으로 신입생 선발
1954 ∼ 1968 : 국가 연합고사와 대학별 고사의 혼용기, 학생선발권이 대학에 위임되었던 시기
1969 ∼ 1980 : 대학별고사와 대학입학 예비고사의 병행기, 국가 권력과 대학이 공동으로 행사한 시기
1981 ∼ 1993 : 학생선발권을 국가 권력이 독점한 시기 (7. 30)
1981 : 대입예비고사와 고교 내신성적 병행시기
1982 ∼ 1985 : 대학별 학력고사와 고교 내신성적 병행시기
1986 ∼ 1987 : 대학별 학력고사와 내신성적과 논술고사 병행기
1988 ∼ 1993 : 대입학력고사와 내신성적을 기본으로 하고 면접이 반영
1994 : 수학능력시험과 고교 내신성적에 대학별 본고사 자율

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