Phone calls to verify Ewha degrees jump
Phone calls to verify Ewha degrees jump
  • 한정수 기자
  • 승인 2007.10.01 00:00
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            The scandal over forgery of academic credentials that centered on Dongguk University professor Shin Jeong-ah has also touched Ewha. Actress Yoon Seok-hwa, who performed in Chapel class several times as an Ewha graduate, was discovered to have never attended Ewha.

Also Ewha’s Comprehensive Service Center, which provides basic academic services, has reported a great increase in the numbers of inquiries to check whether a person has graduated from Ewha.

             “Staffs at the service center are having a hard time dealing with a burst of phone calls that ask for highly private data. From the first week of July to the end of August, 361 people have wanted to inquire about background of Ewha students and graduates. This is a gigantic jump from the last year’s total figure of 166 inquirers,” said Kim Hye-kyung, the center’s director.

             Before forgery by celebrities became so sensational an issue, most of the inquirers were schools or businesses who wanted to check the background of applicants. But these days, most requests come from the media and the National Police Agency to confirm the academic background of public figures who claim to be graduates of Ewha. Other calls come from middle-aged women and men of marriageable age who want to confirm the background of potential daughters-in-law or spouses.”

             Ewha students also feel the fallout from the recent scandals directly when applying for part-time teaching and tutoring jobs. Kim Je-yeon (Pharmacy, 1) recalled one face-to-face confrontation she had with the parents of student she was about to tutor.

             “I happen to be a year older than most of my classmates because I  spent an additional year studying before entering school. In a casual phone call to get to know me before my first class, the parents of one student asked me a lot of things about my university life—including my department, residence, and age. When I went to their place for my formal interview, I felt frustrated because they said they had called the university and could not locate anyone in my year with my name. I told them that I started a year later than I should have, but I still cannot forget how insulted I felt.”

             Comprehensive Service Center director Kim Hye-kyung says the center tries to maintain confidentiality. Confirmation about students and graduates can only be given to inquirers who provide exact information in relation to people they want to investigate, such as their social security number and current position, and callers must have a reasonable purpose for asking for the information.”

             Nevertheless, says Kim, people urge the center’s staff to verify a student’s attendance based on just name and school year.


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