The pop-up page on the course registering Web site read; “the class you have entered has reached its full capacity.” Day and night, I clicked the enter button. Even on the subways to school, I was pressing the enter button like a schizophrenic. I e-mailed the professors and showed up at the classes. At classes, a dozen students were standing at the back of the room, begging for seat openings. The administration office of the School of Business was packed with students asking if there were more seat openings.
During the entire course registering period, the bulletin board at the student community site was filled with complaints on business course registering. Some students complained they could sign up for only one or two classes and some were considering of taking a semester off. A friend of mine was thinking of postponing her graduation because she fell short of three credits to her graduation; just one more class and she could finish her school.
As the students described the situation, it was a war. Everybody had their eyes on the courses they had dibbed on and looked for opportunities to snipe available seats of any business courses. Despite the school’s restriction on usage of macro system, students were spotted using the system publically and even in the school computer labs in desperation. With the peak of the competition, some of the popular or requisitory classes were traded with money.
Course registering has been tough but it was not this intense. If you showed up at the first day of the class, professors simply enlarged the class so no student was left behind.
Students tried the same, but this semester, the professors and the college administration office gave a different answer; class cannot be sized up as to the standards of the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) International Accreditation that Ewha received in August 2010.
The AACSB International Accreditation specifies; a class does not exceed 80 students; the aggregate faculty is the sum of full and part-time assignments; the proportion of faculty resources who are professionally qualified should exceed 90 percent of the total faculty.
Let’s talk numbers. There are 59 courses open in the College of Business Administration and, supposing there are 79 seats available in each class. Maximum 5,000 seats available to the undergraduate classmen. Then there are 878 students majoring business, 883 double majoring and 358 minoring. The total 3124 students have to take at least three to four business courses a semester to meet the graduation standard. It is like fitting an elephant in a box.
There are ways out from this dilemma. One solution is to open up more classes by hiring more professional full time professors. Another is limiting the number of students majoring, double majoring or minoring business. One last would be giving up the AACSB accreditation for the moment and preparing more to be accredited with less confusion and more effectiveness.
Caught between a rock and a hard place, Ewha should choose what is more pragmatic, what is more beneficial to the students, and what is promising in the future.
Surely, it is an honor for the students to be in world standard accredited classrooms. But if the quality education is open only for few, what would be the purpose of the accreditation? Aren’t we missing the true value in education?
As the Ewha’s reason for existance writes, Ewha should align the vision with value for the “enlargement of opportunities for women’s education, nourishing women leaders, orienting toward the harmonized society.”