In Korea, the first incorporation of a national university will be launched at Seoul National University (SNU) in March, 2012. This news was announced after the draft of the 'Act on the Establishment and Operation of Seoul National University Incorporated' was ratified by the National Assembly in December, 2010.
However, a debate still exists between the affirmative and negative sides of this issue. The negative side has vehemently has opposed the incorporation of a national university. They staged a rally by taking over the president’s room at SNU, an act that was reported in the mass media.
This news is highly relevant to CWNU and its students because CWNU is also a national university. Therefore, I think we should at least know the facts about the incorporation.
Two of the affirmative side’s arguments are that if SNU changes to Seoul National University Incorporated (SNUI), SNUI will have global competitiveness due to its strengthened autonomy, and will secure its budget more easily.’
On the other hand, the opponents of the plan say that ‘SNUI is an entity designed to seek profits, so it will neglect the fostering of basic academic achievement which is a key social responsibility of national universities.’
The two sides are in sharp disagreement over this matter. But the draft has already been ratified, so I think they must join forces for the success of SNUI. In Japan, many incorporated national universities suffer from financial problems and competitiveness has weakened since incorporation.
SNU knows about the Japanese examples, of course. Thus, they have been preparing to prevent these problems by creating a Seoul National University Incorporated Preparatory Committee which provides information on the incorporation of SNU.
We will have to wait and see the results of this incorporation. If the incorporation of SNU is successful, CWNU may be next.
by Ryu Seung-bong, Editor-in-Chief
Ryu Seung-Bong firstname.lastname@example.org
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