A student prepares to sit for college entrance exams in Seoul . File photo/ AFP
SEOUL: A Seoul university professor forced students to write her daughter’s thesis to gain entry to an elite dental school, a government report revealed on Tuesday, the latest scandal to hit South Korea’s hyper-competitive education system.
The professor, who teaches at Seoul’s Sungkyunkwan University, made her graduate students conduct a three-month experiment — and even asked them to fabricate the results — before the daughter published the findings in an academic journal under her own name.
The daughter then included the thesis in an application to Seoul National University’s dental school — the top institution of its kind in the country — and earned admission last year.
South Korea is notorious for its hyper-competitive education system and academic performance is seen as pivotal in defining adult lives, holding the key to the best jobs, social status and even marriage prospects.
Many parents feel pressured to send their children to the nation’s top schools and frequently make headlines for cheating the system — including the case of a high-school teacher arrested last year on charges of stealing exam papers for his daughters.
Top politicians, including current education minister Yoo Eun-hae, have apologised in the past for ethical lapses related to their children’s education.
Yoo last year admitted falsifying her home address to enrol her daughter in a prestigious elementary school in central Seoul.
In the latest case, the education ministry said it had asked prosecutors to investigate if any laws were broken.
"The Education Ministry plans to ask her university to expel the professor," an official told AFP.
The investigation discovered the professor had one of her students do 54 hours of volunteer work — converting a book into braille — in her daughter’s name, for which she was paid 500,000 won (around US$440).
The daughter also won a number of academic awards for posters and research reports that were actually completed by her mother’s students, it said.
It has been widely reported that the country’s graduate students are frequently subject to abuse and exploitation — including working long hours in the lab and running errands such as laundry for their professors.
In an effort to share its pioneering experience with the world, the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), showcased its “Global Benchmarking Framework and Data Set for Online, Open, Smart and Technology-enhanced Higher Education” while participating in the UnescoMobile Learning Week 2019, held recently in Paris.
North Korea has returned its staff to an inter-Korean liaison office, Seoul said on Monday, just days after unilaterally withdrawing from the joint facility.
US President Donald Trump will host his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in next month, Seoul said on Friday, after the latest summit between Washington and Pyongyang ended in deadlock.
The 16-year-old's father demanded a ban on PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, known by the acronym PUBG, after his son hanged himself from a ceiling fan at their Hyderabad home following a reprimand for wasting time online rather than studying for an English exam, according to Indian news reports.
The “Well of Hope” campaign will provide clean water to over one million individuals in disadvantaged communities after 21 participating entities across the UAE pledged to dig 150 wells in 34 countries.
The Environment and Protected Areas Authority’s (Epaa) Natural History & Botanical Museum organised a special event entitled ‘Together We Can Protect and Restore Our Oceans’ on the occasion of World Oceans Day. The event was held recently at the Museum with the participation of staff, visitors to the museum and representatives from a number of government agencies.
The final exams for the academic year 2018-2019 are scheduled to start on Wednesday 19 June for students from grades 1 to 12 in the governmental and private schools following the Ministry’s curriculum. The examinations will continue until June 30 for grades 11-12 of the general and advanced streams and the 9 and 10 Elite stream.