Chung-Ang University has diverse renowned departments which have long histories, great curriculums and faculty members and so forth. However, particularly the Department of Theatre and Film Studies of CAU is the best among all the same departments in Korea. There are a lot of actors and directors who play important parts in the Korean theatre and movie industry. In the past, most of those actors or directors tended to debut and become successful after their graduation. However, unlike the past, a considerable number of new students these days are already stars who have successful careers. The trend of young stars' college entrance resulted from the fads of teenage idol singers or actors have increased. For instance, 'Luna', one of the members of popular idol girl group, 'F(X)', Lee Min-ho who was a child actor and Jin Se-Yeon the actress are stars who passed CAU's entrance examination, utilizing their career and they are going to be freshmen next year. This phenomenon is not limited to our university. Many other universities in Seoul, such as Dong-Guk University, Sung-Kyun-Kwan University, Kon-Kuk University also will have stars attending. The problem is the public's recognition of celebrities' admission influences the public’s opinion that they used their popularity, not their grades or ability, to gain admission.
Examples of celebrities' special admission of university
Case 1: Ko As-Sung, freshman in the College of Social Sciences, Sung-Kyun-Kwan University
Ko Assung is a famous actress who played a key role inthe movie, ‘The Host’, which was a huge success. She got accepted to Sung-Kyun-Kwan University by using the ‘self-recommendation selection’, which is Sung-Kyun-Kwan University’s unique selection process and one of early admissions. Her case became a huge issue because right after her acceptance, lots of testimonies that her Grade Average Point and CSAT score were severely low came out. Especially because Bong Jun-Ho, the director of the movie ‘The Host’, wrote a recommendation letter for Ko Assung so she could have passed the entrance examination. Her admission is a typical case of the celebrity’s own failing ability as a university student.
Case 2: Moon Geun-Young, Sung-Kyun-Kwan University student majoring Korean and Korean Literature
Moon Geun-Young’s case also was a hot potato right after her admission was settled a few years ago. She also got into the university by the same type of entrance examination with Ko Assung and particularly she was one of the first successful applicants at the university. Although her academic ability was known to be better than Ko Assung’s, she was blamed for a long time because her major was not relevant to her ability as an actress and the average Sung-Kyun-Kwan University students’ academic results were far better than hers.
Case 3: Hyun-Ah, freshman of Kon-Kuk University
Hyun-Ah is a member of girl singer group, ‘4Minute’, who is especially popular because of her powerful dance talent. That is why people were puzzled when the news that she would be a freshman at Kon-Kuk University majoring the Department of Arts. Not only that, people criticized her for getting a four year scholarship from the university because her admission screening was not proper to decide the rankings to select scholarship winners among the students and people thought she was affluent enough to pay the tuition unlike many other students.
Opinions of opposing celebrities’ special admission
Korea is really famous all over the world for its zealous educational focus. Especially Koreans’ desire to make their children attend prestigious universities is severe even though most people think this crosses the line. However, because the so-called ‘educational background’ affects people’s lives including when they start their career, the phenomenon remains as it does. Despite this fact, celebrities attend those prestigious universities easily compared to hard-studying common students and that is why a lot of people are against the current situation.
Current celebrities’ special admission also seems to be used impurely for both the celebrities and the universities. The colleges want to advertise themselves using their star-students’ popularity so that they can appeal to society members, especially their potential applicants: teenage students. On the other hand, the celebrities try to get the educational background or even worse case they use university attendance as a shield for delaying military service. Some entertainers who try to avoid military service attend Graduate School after graduating from their undergraduate university even if the major is not relevant to his career.
The phenomenon that already renowned people enter into each university’s theatre or film studies department can disturb the discovery of new talented people. Since there are lots of people who want to be actors/actresses or directors who are struggling to prepare for their entrance into universities, celebrities’ admission into college could be seen in a negative light as an action that interferes those future stars’ opportunities. Not only has some said that celebrities don’t need a college education because they already have their career and ability. Well-known celebrities, like actor, Yoo Seung-Ho and a singer, IU, announced that they will not go to university because they do not feel it necessary.
Opinions of approving special admission
Not all of celebrities pass universities’ early admissions without going through formalities. Especially recent successful applicants who are celebrities tend to show their potential and abilities to get through universities’ special admission. For instance, one of Chung-Ang University’s soon to be freshman, Luna (a member of the girl group, ‘F(X)’) could become a successful applicant competing with other students during a two-step screening test. (Step 1: Performance Test 100%, step 2: Performance Test 70% + Grade Point Average 30%). Another successful applicant of CAU this year, actor Lee Pung-Oon, could become a member of CAU after failing last year. Like those celebrities’ cases, if they can prove their potential ability regarding a certain department, the celebrities can know the joy of being accepted on their own merits, not just because of the fact that they are well-known stars.
Celebrities’ activities after they become the members of universities also contribute to the diversity of colleges. Unlike before, a lot of various types of entrance examinations have appeared to pursue the diversity of talented individuals. The College Scholastic Aptitude Test (CSAT, which is called the “Soo-Neung” in Korean) is not an absolute standard to select students anymore. With the existing entrance examination which reflects the CSAT score the most, new screenings such as the ‘Global Reader Selection’ and ‘Admission Officer Selection’ have appeared. In the same vein, it is right to disapprove of the trend that celebrities come into universities using their unique backgrounds and ability. It does not coincide with society’s tendency which needs competent people with a variety of experiences and abilities.
What we have to think about is...
One of the biggest causes about celebrities’ annual special admission into university is because some of them go to university not for real pursuing of learning, but for merely getting an educational background. And this causes other ordinary and diligent applicants to feel deprivation. Nevertheless, celebrities’ special admission into universities is becoming one option to go to college and it also has positive effects such as helping universities reject conformity and better value diversity. Also, celebrities’ special admission seems to settle down the entrance screening and is expected to make it be more invigorated. Along with the invigoration of the special admissions system, the universities and celebrities/students should try hard to demonstrate that their decision is not harmful for other students and our society. Students who are celebrities need to live campus lives actively and sincerely even if they are so busy with their entertaining business. They have to be present for their courses and submit assignments as much as possible so that other students can admit the celebrities’ qualification as members of the university. Members of universities, including the professors, also have to make efforts to treat the celebrities equally with other common students. Those celebrities are not just models for the universities but also students who have to be present, study at universities to get their credits and be granted their degrees. Accordingly, both the students and faculty members have to try their best to generalize fair academic management for celebrities after they enter universities.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >