Complaints about the decrease in the amount of support from the school have risen among the students of the College of Law since the opening of the Law School in 2009. As the law department posted the preliminary course schedule for the fall semester with the decreased number of classes on its homepage on April 27, the antipathy towards the school has increased among students. The student council of the College of Law held a conference with professors right after the posting to discuss the issue.
Professor Oh Chong-Kun (Law) says the main reason for the change was that “there are no freshmen entering the College of Law from this year.” Under Korea’s law school system, the schools granted a law school license cannot accept undergraduate law students any more, which will gradually eliminate the law departments. “Therefore, unlike before, each freshmen course will not make division into several classes, which was necessary in preventing too many students studying in a class,” said Oh.
However, the schedule posted on the homepage includes only 35 classes excluding the freshmen courses, which is fewer than last fall semester when the department provided 38 classes for sophomores, juniors and seniors.
The student council of the College of Law suggested pre-investigation on course demands so that the school will open classes as needed. However, law professors found out that it is difficult to establish an independent system only for the College of Law. “Also, we concluded that it is impossible to know the exact demands of law majors through such a system,” said Oh.
The law majors say that the decreased number of classes disturb them from getting the necessary credits for graduation. “Due to the distinctive curriculum of the law major, it is a burden to fulfill the required credit with the decreasing classes,” said Hong Ja-youn (Law, 2). “Some of the popular law professors stopped teaching undergraduate courses, so many law majors could not have chance to attend the class they want."
The students say that the decreased number of courses is not the only example of the reduced support from the school. “Although it might not be easy for the school to give the same support for the undergraduate program with the opening of the Law School, law majors who entered in 2008 weren’t aware of the cutback on support. The school should be responsible for all law majors,” said Ko Yae-ji (Law, 3).
However, Oh saod that the opening of the law school will not affect the welfare of the undergraduate law students because budgets for the College of Law and the Law School are “two different things.” “The financial support for the undergraduate is same as last year. Unlike what law majors say, they will get additional supports while executing budgets for the Law School,” said Oh.
Meanwhile, the door for the conversation is opened. The student council of the College of Law succeeded in adding one class each for “The Law of Reality” and “Criminal Law Ⅲ” this fall semester after holding a conference with professors. “Professors responded that they would have conferences with the students and we are planning to have a discussion on the rights of law majors as students,” said Jung Da-hee (Law,3), the representative of the student council of the College of Law.
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