SEOUL, June 14 (Korea Bizwire) – Preceding the two-year evaluation of law schools, the Ministry of Education in Korea proposed a draft of evaluation criteria for an “impartial admission process” on June 13.
The draft particularly addresses the recent controversial practice of including information regarding applicants’ parents or relatives on personal statements, the abolition of a priority selection system, putting more weight on quantitative assessments, and disclosing admitted student’s undergraduate studies.
The majority of the draft was based on an improvement plan for the law school admission process submitted by the Korean Association of Law Schools. More criteria relating to personal statements were added, and the scope of selection results disclosure was made more specific.
According to the draft, the priority selection system will be abolished, and all applicants who apply for the same screening process will be evaluated based on the same selection factors and with the same weights and rules.
Quantitative assessments including the Legal Education Eligibility Test (LEET) score, undergraduate grade point average (GPA), and foreign language aptitude test scores will have more weight. All other evaluation standards used for the selection process will need to be transparent. For applicants’ right to know and for predictability purposes, a conversion method for quantitative assessment criteria needs to be disclosed as well.
Qualitative assessment related to talents, values, character, expressiveness, and argument skills of applicants will also be evaluated in order to prevent applicants from just focusing on the numeric values of quantitative assessments.
To ensure the selection process is impartial, applicants’ personal information such as name, photograph, and applicant number will be concealed, and a blind interview will be conducted by external committees.
Personal statements, which have been an issue in the past, cannot include any personal or specific career information of an applicant’s parents or relatives, although an explanation can be given in broad terms.
The application guidelines must include the reason for disqualification if any of specified rules are violated.
The draft, once it becomes final, will form the guidelines for checking if a law school has adopted an impartial admission process.
Under Law School Article No. 10, the Ministry of Education may inspect individual law schools to determine if they have fulfilled their implementation plans, and may impose administrative or economic sanctions against schools based on the review of the Legal Education Board under the direction of the Minister of Education.
The Ministry of Education is collecting the law schools’ opinions and will finalize the draft next month.
By Nonnie Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)