The university community is in an uproar over a project of the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education is currently devising a project that aims to customize education according to the needs of society. There are a total of three plans and Chung-Ang University announced that it would participate in the PRIME project, which is one of the three. On March 18th, the planning department held a briefing session on the 3rd Floor of the R&D Center about PRIME, which is an acronym meaning Program for Industrial needs-Matched Education. That is, PRIME is implementing radical reform on the structure of universities, in a way that suits societal change and industry demand in order to solve the mismatch of labor in the labor force.
According to the principal Kim Chang-su, the PRIME project is dived into small size and large size. CAU has engaged in the latter project, which prioritizes adjusting the departments and the capacity of the university in general. In order to participate in this program, 10% of the entrance quota (at least a hundred students) or more than 200 students must be moved to natural sciences and engineering. The Ministry of Education proposed that two universities in metropolitan Seoul and seven universities outside of Seoul that conduct the radical reform will be selected and supported with 15 billion won every year for three years. The university that wins the first place would additionally receive 15 billion won more.
Currently, the administration is planning to adjust to a 300-student capacity; 150 T/O (available capacity of the students) of liberal arts, social sciences, business and education will be reallocated to the Colleges of Natural Sciences and Engineering. In the case of the Department of Liberal Arts, 20~30 student positions will be reduced. Some students believe that their department would eventually be closed in the next few years, but the university refutes that those predictions will not happen.
The university administration presented two supporting plans for the departments that face student capacity reduction. The first one is ensuring the right to take all the courses for the major. The second solution is supporting the education infrastructure and 1 to 1.5 billion won of research expenses. However, CAU students cast doubts whether it is right to reduce the capacity of liberal arts and increase the capacity of natural sciences and engineering in order to meet the industry demand. Furthermore, students ask whether it is appropriate to receive supporting funds every year for the sake of reducing capacity.
Therefore, the university administration claimed that it would communicate with all members of the university in order to reflect their opinions. However, students demonstrated against the administration about its attitude to not respond to the students’ voices. CAH interviewed one student who had listened to the presentation.
CAH: What are your thoughts on PRIME after listening to the presentation?
A Student Majoring in Chinese Language and Literature:
Well, just like what the principal said, I believe that engaging in the PRIME project is inevitable for the sake of our university’s development. It is sad news for the Department of Education, but I think they should sacrifice for the betterment of our university in general. < 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >