How would you feel if you score a C+ or lower on a course and there is no way to retake it or erase it in your transcript? This situation is what students in Hanyang University (HYU) are currently facing. HYU abolished the ‘Credits Abandoning System᾿ in 2014. Students are only allowed to abandon credits that are taken before 2013.
Students who need to re-take courses are thus left with inerasable grades, as abandoning credits is not allowed and the courses he or she has taken before no longer exist. They are willing to improve their grades, and yet, HYU regulations prohibit chances to improve. Then, do students have no other choice than to keep a low grade on their transcript?
The Desire of Hanyangians
According to a survey conducted, about 36 percent of Hanyangians actually have experienced inconvenience because they could no longer abandon their credits, and about 52 percent of students answered that they have seen a colleague worrying about this issue. As these numbers prove, the abolition of the ‘Credits Abandoning System’ is an ongoing issue in HYU.
Na Hye-ri, a Junior majoring in Division of Business Administration, has complained about this system. She and four of her friends took a major course when they were freshmen but are no longer able to re-take it or abandon the grade she got because the course is now unavailable. “I am very confused and frustrated, and I am not the only one who feels this way. Many friends are also struggling with this issue. I hope the administration will come up with a backup plan,” she added, showing her desire towards a reform of the regulation.
Current Position of Hanmadi
Regarding this issue, the Student Council of HYU, Hanmadi, has recently announced their opinion. Having received many complaints from students, Oh Kyu-min, Chief of Educational Policy in HYU, proclaimed that this issue could not be solved because of the school’s adamant opposition.
“The Ministry of Education’s guidelines were the innate reason for the abolition because both the Ministry and HYU’s administration were against grade inflation; a side effect that comes with abandoning credits. It was also revealed that if HYU did not follow the guidelines, they would receive some disadvantages during the university’s evaluation. Because HYU tends to follow the guidelines very well, the school itself cannot do anything to revive the system,” he added.
Despite the fact that the school has strongly opposed reviving the system, Chief Oh Kyu-min shows Hanmadi’s consistent plan on solving this system. He said, “As a representative of HYU students, we, Hanmadi, believe that our role is to help nudge the school administration to adopt more active attitudes toward this issue. We will continuously demand improvements that will bring satisfaction to HYU students.”
According to the school administration, HYU is currently in a very serious phase of ‘Grade inflation’. Compared to that of other universities in South Korea, HYU’s system of grades and credits toward students are relatively very generous. The Ministry of Education sees this kind of HYU’s education management system as troublesome and therefore pointed out the abolishment of the credit abandonment policy. The school itself also believes that the grade inflation is a serious problem and has accepted the Ministry of Education’s recommendation.
Kwak Sang-su, the Section Manager of the Office of Academic Affairs Academic Service Team, stated that, “The school itself agrees that the system of abandoning credits can be a great way for students to get good grades without putting in much effort. Also, I would like to add that other universities do not recommend a ‘Course Re-taking System’ either.” He also emphasized how generous HYU was compared to other universities. “For our school, we do not have any regulations on the number of courses nor the types of courses regarding the ‘Course Re-taking System’. Additionally, HYU allows students to retake the course from C+ and the students are able to get up to A0. This is a very generous regulation compared to those of other universities.” said Kwak Sang-su.
Since last year, HYU was conscious of the discomfort that was brought up amongst the students. “Since the school has already abolished the system, revival of the system is impossible as that would be an action of regression,” said Kwak Sang-su. Instead of such a change, HYU is working on providing similar courses that students can take to make up for their grades. This system was implemented before but was quickly shut down because of the administration flaws it had. “We are having meetings with Hanmadi regarding the re-opening of similar courses. The earliest, will be implemented from the first semester of 2018,” he stated.
Actions Needed For This Dilemma
In regards to this issue, both HYU and students need to take action. The administration should not just ignore the discomfort of many HYU students and students should be aware of the limits put on their administration. Only with mutual understanding can a thorough compromise arise.