Extra! Korea

March 16, 2010

Kim Yu-na got two Fs from Korea University

Filed under: education, sports — extrakorea @ 2:16 pm

What a deplorable way to treat an iconic national treasure. Korea University gave Olympic champion figure skater Kim Yu-na two failing grades last year. Why? Because she never attended class … or submitted training plans to make up for her absences … or turned in assignments … or took any exams … or turned in any reports to replace her missed exams.

Don’t worry, she won’t become a college dropout. In Korea, once you’ve been accepted into university, you’re practically guaranteed to graduate. Just ask Jang Na-ra, who graduated after ten years. I think Lee Hyo-ri did too, though I’m not sure.

From next year, Kim will be able to take classes at a partner university of Korea University in Toronto and transfer the credits.


  1. I’m not so sure if the guaranteed-to-graduate thing still applies. There are time limits placed on students at a lot of places nowadays.

    Comment by kushibo — March 17, 2010 @ 6:01 am

    • Like Jang Na-ra’s ten years? That’s like raising the bar about an inch off the ground. Have you ever heard of anybody flunking out of a Korean university? Ever? The only one I know was an expatriate who was taking graduate courses while working at my school. When she lost her job, she went back home to the U.S.

      The only way to get an F is through excessive absences. Many professors will excuse absences with remedial work or even for lame excuses (“Oh, professor, I was absent because I went to the school’s festival.”). And even if you do fail, you can take the course again, and the old mark is expunged from your record as if it never existed. You have to be comatose to flunk out of Korean university.

      Have you ever read Michael Breen’s book The Koreans? In it, he describes why universities are so reluctant to fail students even if they clearly didn’t put in the work.

      Comment by extrakorea — March 17, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

  2. And having been a TA in Hawaii where I had to take into account athletes’ schedules, I’ll say kudos to Korea University for having the guts to fail her instead of giving in to this national treasure. I like Kim Yuna, and I’m quite happy she got the gold she deserved, but that doesn’t mean she deserve a cake walk everywhere else. Some people earn their Kodae degrees.

    Comment by kushibo — March 17, 2010 @ 6:03 am

    • No disagreement there.

      Comment by extrakorea — March 18, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

  3. ‘F’s? Hell no! You want to really f*** up a student…give them a ‘D’, no expunging of that mark so it stays on their transcripts. I’ve had students beg and plead to be failed rather than catch a ‘D’ Except for three medical students who failed my freshman English class a few years ago. They begged and pleaded to be given ‘D’s. They said that they would have to repeat the whole year if I failed them. I didn’t believe them and told them to get out of my office. Later found out that they were telling the truth. Still didn’t lose any sleep over that one, arrogant little bastards.

    Comment by Angus — March 18, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

    • It depends on the school. At mine, they can expunge any mark except for a B. It’s strange, because, in a sense, the worst mark that we can give is a B.

      Comment by extrakorea — March 18, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

      • That sets new levels in terms of official grade inflation. In reality, that’s essentially the same grading curve we use. Anything below ‘B’ is a punishment grade. The admin. makes no attempt to assess us professionally other than student assessments so everyone just gives out high grades. The students are happy, we’re happy and the admin. is happy.

        Comment by Angus — March 18, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

    • … three medical students who failed my freshman English class … said that they would have to repeat the whole year if I failed them.

      After a few years of cheating their way through medical school, they’ll be performing open-heart surgery. The thought of having to go to the hospital here scares me.

      Comment by extrakorea — March 19, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

      • With the number of schoolchildren decreasing* because of the falling birthrate, I think that universities will have to either raise tuition, or accept more students whose scores, in the past, would not have been good enough to get them into university. Universities have already raised tuition a lot** so I guess that they’ll have to go with the latter. Going to university will become easier, and standards will fall even further.

        * See here, here, and here.

        ** See here, here, and here.

        Comment by extrakorea — March 19, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

  4. hahah i don’t like her! she is too smug and arrogant. seems like type of girl who will find herself a rich older husband! sigh. mao asada is much more elegant and very cute!

    Comment by Zachary Uram — March 28, 2010 @ 11:19 am

  5. […] figure skater Kim Yu-na received two failing grades from Korea University. Hmmm … that sounds familiar. Leave a […]

    Pingback by Kang Shin-who reports 3-month-old news about Kim Yu-na’s Fs « Extra! Korea — June 19, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

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