The KNUA already offers a four year undergraduate course and a 2-3 year graduate course equivalent in class hours to that of a regular university but does not grant bachelor's, master's or doctor's degrees after graduation. Instead, it issues a special certificate, since it is not a university designated as such by the Ministry of Education but is categorized as a special school operating under the direction of Ministry of Culture.
Universities with art departments including Ewha, argue that graduates of the KNUA should continue to receive a different degree from those granted by other universities, since the KNUA is not a regular university. It does not include the National Scholastic Aptitude Test score in its admissions and the curriculum differs from that of other universities. Students do not take academic courses but only have practical training in their field. They also argue that since the school was established to provide an alternative to ordinary universities art departments, the KNUA should not follow the degree system.
On the other hand, the KNUA argues that it has proven its high quality of instruction by many of its students winning prizes at international art contests, and that it needs master's and doctor's degree courses to properly engage in exchange programs with other universities. Professor Kim Bong-ryul of KNUA said in a public hearing that it is unfair to KNUA students who took courses equivalent to those at a graduate school to not receive the same degree. Kim Girina, a junior in the dance department at KNUA, expressed that she hopes students from other universities will consider this legislation as a motivation to develop their own unique programs. The law was proposed on April 19, but due to opposition it is still under consideration. Opposition parties, including students and professors at Ewha, have conducted rallies in front of the National Assembly and Gwanghwamun, and expressed their opinions through newspapers.
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