1. The rise of the controversy
An article titled “The Combination of Hongik University in Seoul and in Sejong” was posted on an informal community called Hongik-in. Its contents spread quickly to many students and fueled a controversy for a long time. Then, the 51st student council, called Begin Again, in the Seoul campus officially confirmed that the Sejong campus is a 2nd campus, from school and announced it on its Facebook page. However, there were majority of students, who had known that Hongik University is composed of a basis (or original) school and a branch school. (refer to its definition on the 2 sub- theme) They worried that the announcement of the student council may show the possibility of the combination of two campuses. They also submitted complaints for the school’s unilateral and late announcement. Since an official agency for the entrance examination for the university assigned and defined Hongik University as having two locations; a basis school and a branch school, the announcement brought tremendous confusion
Students asserted more definite explanation
After that, a protest named “The Headquarters of Identifying Sovereignty as Students of Hongik” took place in front of the R building at the main gate on March 20th, 2017. The students who participated in the protest insisted that the student council should accept blame for the insufficient explanations and imprudent feedback. They also insisted that the school should withdraw the official announcement which assured that the Sejong campus is the 2nd campus which had taken place without a discussion with the students. The school and the student council extraordinarily hosted the information session so that they could try to clear the doubts about this controversy.
2. The clarifying meanings of “multi-campus” with “a 2nd campus” and “a basis
school and a branch school”
Hongik Tidings is going to clarify the meaning of “multi-campus” with “a second campus” and “a basis school and a branch school”, which are subordinate concepts of “multicampus”. It should help readers to figure out the truth of this controversy. At first, a multi-campus system exists when a university is located at least two campuses. Its concept is classified into
concepts of “a second campus” and “a basis school and a branch school” again.
“A branch school” is a school established under Article 16th and 24th of the Higher Education Act in Korea, by getting
permission from the relevant government ministries.
In the other hand, a second campus is established to transfer some of the capacity of a basis school, because every
year enrollees have increased and tend to exceed the capacity. It is made by the permission from the same ministries as mentioned above. However, it is important to know that it is established not by a law, but only by permission, in contrast with a branch school.
3. Hongik University in Sejong is a second campus
I. The process of the establishment of Sejong campus.
“The school said that Sejong campus was established as a second campus under the permission in “Transfer Some Parts of the University” in 1989. It was verified through The Hongik University Press and administrative documents, which came out at that time.
A technical college of Hongik University in Seoul was abolished. After its capacity was cut back and transferred, it was rebuilt as an industrial college, which is a four-year college. The industrial college was established in Jochiwon of Sejong City under the permission in “Transfer Some Parts of the University” in 1989.
However, the Ministry of Education implemented an official system which gives supporting funds to universities according to its place. According to the location, the Sejong campus is not in the capital area, but in the Chungcheong region. Therefore, the administration of the school classified the Seoul campus and the Sejong campus according to each region and submitted two different applications to the Ministry. Therefore, the Ministry of Education defined the Sejong campus as “a branch school” which runs itself. Afterward, although the school claimed to correct its own campus position, it wasn’t getting any further with the discussion, because it was just a problem of the administration and didn’t cause any disadvantages.
In other word, although the Sejong campus has been run as a second campus under the permission to transfer it since it opened, the Ministry of Education applied a rule of a brand school to the Sejong campus for 10 years.
II. The Ministry of Education implemented a new reform of the university assessment
However, a new problem caused by this wrong definition had surfaced in a 1st reform of the university assessment which was conducted from 2014 to 2016. As the Sejong campus was evaluated as “a branch school”, the Seoul campus and the Sejong campus got “B” and “D+”, respectively, which is a relatively low grade in the overall assessment. Depending on the result of the first assessment mentioned, the Sejong campus was in a desperate situation, as it could not get financial aid. Then, although the school submitted the correction letter with official documents, which clarified that the Sejong campus is a second campus relocating some parts of the Seoul campus, to the ministry, they couldn’t get any permission.
However, when the Board of Audit and Inspection questioned the position of Hongik University in Sejong to the Ministry of Education, a huge error surfaced; that is, that the Sejong campus had been defined as a branch school for 10 years. After that, the Ministry of Education corrected the administrative error. In addition, it informed the other relevant governments and official agencies for the entrance examination for the university of that correction. Finally, it was officially announced that Hongik University in Sejong is originally a second campus.
Park Jiwon firstname.lastname@example.org
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