Improvements for the future
Despite the self-congratulatory atmosphere surrounding universities that ranked highly in the recent University Social Responsibility Index, there still is room for improvement.
For starters, universities situated in Seoul severely lacked systems contributing to social welfare for students and applicants compared to universities in other parts of the country. Also, evaluations measuring the adequacy of student scholarships and tuition were ranked low for universities in Seoul. More alarmingly, not one university in the capital was listed to be “lawful,” indicating a clean slate concerning any violation of policies, including illegal activities such as tax dodging or avoiding taxation.
Even so, although the statements and analysis made by the KSRN and Tomato Corporate Social Responsibility Research Center are making headlines on the Internet, some people are expressing doubts concerning the validity of the evaluation. The evaluation standards face much controversy, which is based on ISO 26000, an international standard developed to assess the social responsibilities of an organization made by the International Organization for Standardization. However, more exclusively, people are debating whether or not universities should be evaluated on such standards in the first place.
To this, An Chi-yong, the head of the Tomato Corporate Social Responsibility Research Center stated his opinions of the matter.
“Our objective is not to evaluate schools and rank them,” said An. “We want to present a new evaluation, that ranks the schools in a new perspective, to help people realize the deficiencies in our universities and what we have to strive to accomplish.”
Reporters: Son Young-chai, Hong Ki-yeon