고등교육기관 퇴출구조에 관한 연구 (Exit Structure for Higher Education Institutions)
KDI Policy Study 2014-13, 1-57
75 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2016
Date Written: December 31, 2014
Korean Abstract: 먼저 대학은 질적으로 동일한 교육서비스를 제공하고 더 높은 교육서비스를 위해서는 비용이 소요된다고 하자. 각 대학의 교육서비스 이외의 다른 조건들은 모두 동일하다고 하자. 등록금은 동일하게 규제되어 있고, 대학들은 등록금수입 이외의 수입이 없다고 하자. 이러한 조건에서 정원규제가 있는 경우의 교육서비스 수준은 학생공급이 총정원보다 많은 경우에는 기준수준의 교육서비스만 제공된다. 기준교육서비스 수준은 대학 졸업에 필요한 시간비용과 금전적 비용 등을 고려하여 고등학교 졸업과 대학 졸업 간에 무차별하게 만드는 교육서비스 수준을 의미한다. 반면, 학생공급이 총정원보다 적은 경우에는 기준 수준보다 높은 교육서비스가 제공될 수 있지만 정원을 채우지 못하는 대학이 존재할 때에만 그러하고 그 대학이 폐교하는 순간 다시 기준 수준으로 돌아가게 된다. 정원규제가 존재하는 경우에는 기본적으로 기준 수준의 교육서비스가 지배적이라는 것이다. 예외적으로 총정원을 하회하는 학생공급이 있을 경우에 일부 대학의 교육서비스가 높아지는 것을 경험할 수 있지만 정원을 채우지 못하는 대학이 퇴출되면 다시 기준 수준으로 돌아가게 된다는 것이다. (이하 생략)
English Abstract: University restructuring being pursued by the government led by President Park contains a differentiated reduction in admission capacity based on results of university evaluation by the government. It is doubtful however that the evaluation could actually lead to the outcome the government intends. Regardless of the strictness of evaluation, it would be not at all easy to force out a university unless its illegality is clear and certain. The Ministry of Education, not immune from political pressure, is most likely to conclude almost all universities are average in quality. If this is the case, the restructuring policy means an average cut in admission capacity at all universities, implying that even inefficient ones will continue to provide education services. This could be a problem. To put it another way, any evaluation lacking market assessment based on students’ choices ― assuming all students are provided with accurate information ― would have nothing but ‘average in quality.’ This might lead to a delay in the restructuring process eventually, a possibility that should not be taken lightly.
In this regard, the government policy of differentiated fiscal support for admission capacity reduction is highly likely to bring out more inefficiency and, ironically, a delay in restructuring, the objective itself. Universities in Korea have been heavily dependent on non-tuition revenue sources, particularly fiscal support, in order to sustain their financial stability. Those with low student recruitment rate and hence enough room for capacity reduction might be little impacted by the policy and even could enjoy the continued benefit of government support while they satisfy the requirement of capacity reduction. This is no different from allowing the prolongation of the life of less chosen universities ― which should be rightly forced out ― by supporting them with fiscal support. On the other hand, those with high student recruitment rate are going to experience a decrease in their finances due to the reduced admission capacity when they comply with the government’s requirements. Capacity reduction at universities with high admission competition would deliver inefficiency, as it cuts down opportunities of students and reduces university finances, leading to scaling down investment in education and eventually to downgrading the quality of education service for registered students.
Inefficiency resulting from above policy measure is unavoidable in any combination of any type of admission capacity reduction and accompanying fiscal support. This is because the policy demands a deliberate cut in admission capacity at universities which by nature aim to provide better education service to more students: this can be made possible only by expanding admission capacity. Such inefficiency, combined by the weakening of university competitiveness, might act to wane the competitiveness of Korea entering the era of an increasingly knowledge-based economy. In this sense, the government’s policy measure for university restructuring needs to be revised.
Then, what would be a desirable method for university restructuring? Ideally, one is to force out a university that is found to be incompetent in a quasi-market competition ― through autonomous adjustment of admission capacity ― provided, of course, that the university, as non-profit juristic person, publicly share every transparent, accurate information on its achievements (graduates’ employment rate, average wage, company they work for and their career path) and management performance. Less chosen universities, meaning having consistently low student recruitment rate, should be forced out, and to that end, a guideline with explicit criteria and process needs to be developed. More specifically, for restructuring private universities, the guideline shall contain following measures.
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