School ranks first in 2016 University Social Responsibility Index
School ranks first in 2016 University Social Responsibility Index
  • Kim Eun-gyeong
  • 승인 2016.04.11 10:59
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The school ranked first in the 2016 University Social Responsibility Index conducted by Korea Social Responsibility Network (KSRN) and Tomato Corporate Social Responsibility Research Center. Ewha acquired 3.894 points out of 4.3 points among 149 private universities in the nation on March 22.
The University Social Responsibility Index evaluates universities’ fulfillment of social responsibility as social institutions. This special index reflects the widespread belief that universities are now more of a public institution rather than one for a small number of the privileged. This is because, as of 2014, the average college enrollment rates throughout the nation has reached 70 percent of all high school graduates of the same year. The University Social Responsibility Index thus calls attention to the universities’ role as a part of the society in which they contribute to their community.
The University Social Responsibility Index stands out from other major university-ranking indexes as it focuses on the level of universities’ social responsibility. A large number of university rankings shed light on quantitative measurements such as graduates’ employment rate and faculty publication records. For example, the very first university-ranking index conducted in Korea, the Joongang Ilbo University Ranking, evaluates universities according to the following criteria and proportions: graduates’ employment rate (27.5%); achievements in research (30%); educational environment (25%); and level of globalization (17.5%). The evaluation only takes account of academic achievements.
In contrast, the University Social Responsibility Index mainly focuses on factors that can measure the level of universities’ contribution to society. The index’s evaluation criteria follows the ISO26000, which is the international standard developed to help organizations assess and evaluate their social responsibilities. The seven key underlying principles of social responsibility according to ISO26000 are accountability, transparency, ethical behavior, respect for stakeholder interests, respect for rule of law, international customs, and human rights.
Tomato CSR Research Center said that it wanted people to pay more attention to universities’ social responsibility and their corresponding level of conduct through the University Social Responsibility Index.
“Graduates’ employment rates are important, but I believe that it is something that universities must deal within their own communities,” said Ahn Chi-yong, the representative of Tomato CSR Research Center. “However, on the societal level, we need to motivate universities to move forward to the right direction, promoting them to serve their fundamental functions as academic and social organizations.”

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