[Image source: Gettyimagesbank]
The number of students dropping out of South Korea’s three-most prestigious universities has reached an all-time high of more than 2,000 last year as many young people decide to study more years to enter medical schools.
According to an analysis by Jongro Academy, the country’s top prep school for college, on Sunday, the number of dropouts at the country’s top three universities stood at 2,131 last year, up 8.1 percent from a year ago. The three universities are Seoul National University, Yonsei University, and Korea University.
Dropouts include students that voluntarily leave school mid-year, those that do not enroll themselves, or those that do not return back to school after taking time off.
Observers noted that the number of dropouts is rising as students choose to study more years and retake the college entrance exam to enter medical schools.
The number of dropouts has been on a steady increase in recent years from 1,339 in 2018 to 1,415 in 2019, 1,624 in 2020, and 1,971 in 2021.
Students enrolled in Yonsei University and Korea University are known to be retaking college entrance exams to enter the more prestigious Seoul National University. Students at Seoul National University are known to be pausing entrances or taking time off from school to enter medical schools.
In some majors, dropouts accounted for nearly half of the entire enrollment.
At Seoul National University, the Department of Applied Biological Chemistry had 24 out of 52 students drop out last year and the Department of Food and Animal Biotechnology 21 out of 58 students.
Of those who dropped out of the three universities last year, 65.1 percent were from the College of Natural Sciences. The number of dropouts from the College of Humanities stood at 688, up 50.8 percent from a year earlier.
“The integrated college entrance exam has led natural science majors to retake college entrance exams to enter med schools while some of them failed to adapt to new academic environments,” said a professor at Seoul National University who asked to be unnamed. “There are quite a few cases where science students who were admitted to liberal art departments through cross-disciplinary major applications fail to adapt to courses that require literacy and go back to the sciences.”
By Moon Ga-young, Choi Ye-bin, Park Na-eun, and Choi Jieun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]