For university students to receive private education is common these days. In a recent study performed by Jung Ji-sun and Kim Jun-ho, Ph.D students at Seoul National University, 45.5 percent of 688 students said they enrolled in private education courses after entering university.
According to the survey conducted by the Ewha Voice in May, about 31.5 percent (51 out of 162 students), said they have received private education since coming to Ewha. Among those who have received private education, nearly 78.4 percent said their purpose was to improve their English skills and prepare for English tests. Others said private education would help them attain authorized certifications including CPA (Certified Public Accountant). Some simply want to catch up with their regular classes.
Students receiving private education to improve their English skills mostly said they go to academies or have private tutors because there are no classes at school that adequately prepare them for the English tests.
Other students enroll in foreign language academies to catch up with their school work.
“With only basic Chinese language skills, it’s hard to keep up with classes related to my major,” said Song Gi-na (Chinese, 2). "To be more competitive than students admitted to the school because of their special language skills, I take an intermediate Chinese speaking course every morning before class."
Not only liberal arts students, but also students from other majors seek private education to understand their courses or improve their performance in courses they can already follow just fine.
This is common among accounting students. Park Ji-yoon (Yonsei University, 2), who entered at the top of her class in economics major, said she has taken private accounting courses at an academy because she wanted to do better.
However, professors are skeptical about university students receiving private education.
“University students are supposed to be able to study on their own. Now is the time for them to practice solving problems by themselves,”
Improving their school work by receiving private education cannot be a long-term solution. “In America, programs like tutoring by seniors are common,” said Professor Suh Yoon-suk (Business Administration). “University students should think about their ultimate, bigger goals of becoming intelligent leaders rather than being tied up in GPAs. Private education may be helpful now, but in the long-run, it is only harmful.”