A 2014 survey by the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) announced that, among the 35 public universities in Korea, the level of integrity of UOS ranked in the first class. UOS received a score of 6.13 out of 10 points. This was the third highest score and was classified in the first class along with Kunsan National University (6.18) and Korea Maritime and Ocean University (6.17). Two years ago, in the last integrity survey, UOS previously ranked 20th and an overall score was considered either low or average. This sudden and unexpected improvement in the ranking has brought much attention to UOS.
This great leap mainly resulted from a comprehensive plan to improve integrity as a joint effort between UOS and the Seoul Institute for Transparency. Constructed within UOS in 2010, the Seoul Institute for Transparency is the only organization to inspect transparency in a university.
A senior researcher of this institute, Lee Sun-joong said, “We suggested some proposals in the plan. Disclosing records from academic board meetings is one of the methods used to improve transparency in the decision-making process. Thanks to these efforts, UOS could create the desirable environment as a state university. The research budget is expected to be further increased in the future.” Since its establishment, the institute has contributed much to studies on the causes of corruption and has provided measures to promote integrity.
For now, it serves as a “think tank” for the Seoul City, but it is expanding its duty to society at large. For instance, the institute has received a request to research the “Nut Rage” incident, a big issue which has angered the public. We expect to see ourselves making continuous contributions to studies of integrity.