SGA confronts school over Prime and Core Business
SGA confronts school over Prime and Core Business
  • Kim Hye-won
  • 승인 2016.02.29 11:21
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Tension between the school and Student Government Association (SGA) has risen on the controversies over the school’s plan to apply for Prime Business and Core Business.
On Oct. 21, 2015, Ministry of Education (MOE) declared a business plan for cultivating talents that meet with future social demands which includes Prime Business, one of the biggest government-funded programs. MOE said that it will select nine schools for reorganizing curriculums which consider “social demands” resulting from social and industrial changes. 10 schools that reorganize their curriculums around promising fields will receive financial support worth of 236 billion won.
The school intends to apply for Prime Business to prepare for the aging society and reduction in the number of students. Thus, the school is trying to develop curriculum that corresponds to future demands and can maximize the school’s advantage as a women’s university. The school also plans to benefit from Core Business, another educational project led by MOE that combines practical studies with liberal arts academic studies. The school already submitted its application on Feb. 3.
“Financial fund earned from Core Business will be used for   scholarships, developing and managing curricula and enhancing educational environments,” said Ha Ji-yeon, director of Student Affairs.
However, SGA raised concerns that two businesses only seek to increase employment rate. Shouting Ewha argued that “the government is taming universities with money, turning them into ‘an employee training institution.’” SGA is also concerned that Prime Core Business will destroy foundations of academia that Ewha has accumulated in its history.
“The school had about a year to discuss and prepare for Prime Business as MOE mentioned its plan in early 2015,” said SGA to Ewha Voice. “But over the process, the school has not been willing to communicate with students or listen to our opinions.”
To express their stance, SGA distributed handouts asking the school stop Prime and Core Businesses as it will lead to the reduction in number of students majoring in liberal arts and other majors. SGA also started a signature-gathering campaign to stop businesses.
As the conflict got intense, the school held a meeting comprised of 20 students and school officials regarding the Businesses on Feb. 1. Afterwards, the school expressed regret that SGA distributed opposing printouts even before the meeting. The school also demanded SGA to immediately stop spreading propaganda based on rumors.
“The school is not considering any kind of merging or abolition of departments,” Ha stressed. “Basic principle of school is to guarantee at least the minimum number of students for each major.”
However, the SGA is still carrying out the campaign.
“The signature gathering campaign was initiated by students voluntarily,” SGA said. “We will get as many signatures as possible and deliver them to the school.”

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