Ewhain Blog is a website that houses Ewha’s database such as accomplishments and social services notable Ewha alumni have made in various fields such as law, public management, science, and entertainment industry.
Quickly gaining popularity among undergraduates, the blog also attracted students who are interested in applying to Ewha as one of the most reliable sources on finding admissions related information. Current undergraduates’ high school GPA and Suneung scores, the Korean SAT, can be found as well on the blog. The blog now counts 74,300 visits in total and has gained over 1,690 subscribers.
Ewhain Blog further expanded and founded Ewha Green Admission Cafe, a web community of now over 5,030 members specifically designed for high school students to ask questions and Ewha students respond. New information comes out every Thursday. Ewha Voice interviewed the “Manager Ewhain” to hear more about her work.
To talk about the Ewhain blog, one requires some background knowledge on the history of the school. Founded by Mary F. Scranton and given the name ‘Ewha’(which means pear blossoms) by Emperor Gojong in 1886 as the first modern educational institute for Korean women, Ewha Womans University was the very first university to be founded in Korea. Ewha remains as one of the most prestigious universities till this day, with an acceptance rate for early admissions averaging around eight percent. The school constantly ranks in the top five universities in the country according to the official data provided by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.
However, in the early days of Ewha, it was not uncommon for students to drop out of school to get married or marry immediately after graduation. Ewha soon became a symbol of a bourgeois woman with no interest in pursuing her career, just counting days to get married to a similarly rich man set up by their parents. For instance, four out of 10 former first ladies of South Korea have studied in Ewha.
Although such tradition cease to exist and Ewha continues to be in the front of gender equality at work, with the largest proportion of female executives in Korea’s top 100 companies being Ewha graduates, the image of a ‘rich girl school’ continues to overshadow many of the alumni’s achievement in society and has created rumors online that Ewha may be falling behind.
“I wanted to provide accurate information about our university,” said the manager, an Ewha student who wished to remain anonymous.
“There is so much misinformation about Ewha rampant on the internet, and these fake news spread through web communities which are very popular to high school students. This misinformation intentionally harms the school’s image. So, we needed a place to make ourselves heard and as an Ewha student, I created a blog to introduce the facts about the school.”
She is not alone in this big project. She receives help from other students via open KakaoTalk chatrooms. The students share recent information about Ewha alumnae in which she then asks for a reliable source for fact-checking. The reports are not posted if they cannot find a credible source.
She also receives feedback from the school’s online community for her writing. The manager is currently receiving students’ high school transcripts to give prospective students a general understanding of their scholarly achievement required to get apply to Ewha.
Ewhain blog was actually not the student’s first attempt to create an Ewha-official website to fight with fake news. There have been instagram accounts such as @ewha_enter where students could submit their Suneungscores anonymously.
However, this account has been inactive since October 2018. When asked about how she will manage to continue working on this rather than being a moment’s fame, the manager replied that she is considering receiving sponsorships and distributing advertising revenue to keep the platform active.
On the other hand, the Ewhain Blog also faced criticism from some that such database encourages academic elitism, a core issue in Korean society.
“No one appreciates the critique of academic elitism more than I do.” the manager said. “In fact, it was actually our school that has been the victim of academic elitism. People constantly try to rank universities and ours has been intentionally excluded from those lists due to fake news. This blog is to protect our school and our reputation rather than brag about the school’s legacy and what the future Ewhains will bring to the world.”
“Lastly, I want to say that I appreciate everyone’s greetings of gratitude I’m receiving online from the Ewha community and students whose dream school is Ewha,” the manager concluded.
Ewhain blog can be found in blog.naver.com/ewha_official and cafe.naver.com/ewhainfo.