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Tightening Regulations on Repeat Courses during Summer/Winter Session계절학기 재수강 성적 제한
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승인 2013.06.03  13:49:07
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     As of April 2013, Chonnam National University (CNU) announced its regulation regarding summer courses including restrictions on repeating courses. For example, putting a limit on repeat registration and changing grading policy. CNU students only can register for courses they received below a C+ grade, and the maximum credit they can earn is an A grade. Many students have expressed strong dissatisfaction over the amended regulations. Especially, some students who need to raise their cumulative grade point average have worried about this situation.
 
     

 

Students looking at the announcement posted on the door of a classroom

 
 
 
Why Was the Regulation Changed
The limit on the repeating courses is a huge thing for students. They have to have good marks for scholarships, overseas studies or employment after graduation. Many students are working part-time jobs to pay for expensive tuition fees or studying really hard to get a scholarship. Academic records are one of the important factors used to select scholarship students in most universities, so they need to get high grades. Moreover, a tight job market due to the economic slump makes university students ask their professors to give them better grades to make their resumes look better. College professors, aware of their desperation and pressure, are granting those requests to help graduates land jobs.
Besides, in the beginning of the semester, students are trying hard to register for a good class named ‘honey class’ (Students make an insinuation as honey they can get a good result easily.) Many students’ criterion to choose a class is whether they can earn a good grade without much effort or not. So they prefer classes with an absolute evaluation grading system, and get a high score easier than relative evaluation ones which only 30% of students could get an A+ or an A. The more students do it, the more university’s true goal is discolored.
As a result, this situation has resulted in the overall increase of university students’ grade points. According to the Office of Student Affairs at CNU, it is necessary to tighten regulations on the repetition of summer/winter courses and the grading system in order to reduce grade inflation and improve our university’s education index rating.
 
University Grade Inflation and Evaluation Index
In recent years, universities have been criticized out for handing out a number of high grades to their students. The latest report of The Joongang Daily, Seoul National University first started to give easy grades to students and took the initiative in grade inflation, and several national universities joined the trend even if they have to be intelligent universities ahead of other universities. According to the data released by the Ministry of Education in 2011, more than 75 percent of students in 185 universities had received higher than a B average in 2010.
Because of this grade inflation, most companies have questioned the academic records of university graduates and choose to exclude grade information of applicants when they recruit new employees. Consequently, some universities have changed their grading system.
 
Opinions Diverge
CNUians’ opinions on this measure to reduce grade inflation and improve its ranking in university evaluation are divided. Some of them think this amendment is inevitable for both students and the university from the long-term point of view. Chung Chang-bok (Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering) said and the cause of grade inflation is that the absolute evaluation grading system gives A grades at a high rate to students and professors are not following the relative evaluation ratio criterion. “CNU needs to decrease the grade ratio of each grade, for example, we change A grade ratio from 30 percent to 25 percent, and also to strengthen absolute evaluation standards.”. However, others say that the university should have considered a variety of opinions about the restriction on retaking courses and the grading policy of students before to determine the amendment.
In this situation, we have to keep the goals of the university in mind: it is not only job training for employment but also intellectual cultivation. It is true that grades are important to find a job in our society, but it is not all that students should seek while in university. The university authorities need to consider what they can do for students and listen to students’ demands. In this case, they should have taken time to amend the regulations after informing CNUians of the plan and gathering CNUians’ opinions about it.
 
By Lim Seon-young, Tribune Reporter
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