▲ Participants discussing agendas during the Q&A session. Photographed by Kie Hae Seung.
On February 5, the Open Discussion on the Graduate School Completed-Research Student Proposal was held at the College of Political Science and Economics. Hosted by the 33rd Korea University Graduate School Student Union (KUGSSU) and the KU branch of the Korean Graduate Employee Union (KGEU), the meeting primarily discussed the faults of and resolutions to the school’s new proposal regarding graduate school completed-research students. This term refers to students who gain access to school infrastructure and resources for research purposes in return for a fraction of the graduate school tuition fee. Within the proposal, an increase in mandatory fee from four to 12 percent of the tuition fee was one of the several contentious changes.
During the question and answer (Q&A) session, students were encouraged to express their demands to the school. Participants openly questioned whether the increase in tuition fee would actually lead to an improvement in infrastructure. Moreover, distress was expressed at the ostentatious benefits the school offered, including the “expansion in research provisions such as Research Information Sharing Service (RISS).” The school maintained, however, that the resolution of this proposal will sufficiently benefit graduate school students and their research environment.
KUGSSU President Lim Seo-young (Graduate School of History) commented, “It is critical for our negotiation capability that the union hears as many student opinions as possible.” With a negotiating committee set to act in the days ahead, it seems that the opinions of KU students will play an important role in the future of KU’s graduate school.