On August 3rd, Siwon issued a proclamation to support Ewha Womans University students’ protest against their university’s decision. Ewha Womans University’s students started a protest against the school on July 28th, because they wanted to abolish the school’s newly proposed continuing education program called ‘Light Up Your Future in Ewha College’ (LiFE).
Ewha Womans University decided to apply for this state-funded program in May and was selected for participation in July. But none of the students knew about this. Faced with the prospect of low-quality education and a unilateral decision by the school administration, Ewha students remonstrated.
Because of these reasons, they argued that the school established this program just to make money, resulting in a practice that the students essentially see as “selling degrees.” The administration of Ewha Womans University refuted this assertion, emphasizing that the LiFE program will give equal opportunities of education to all women. On July 30th, 1,600 police officers were stationed at the university to repress this demonstration.
Accordingly, Siwon made an announcement of support for Ewha students specifically addressing two points of their protest. First, it condemned the school’s undemocratic business promotion and using police to suppress students. Second, it criticized the government’s policy of promoting state-funded continuing education. However, according to one anonymous student of UOS, this proclamation was made without discussing with other students of UOS, although the Student Council is representative for whole school.
Not only UOS, but also many other universities made statements in support of the Ewha protesters. Eventually, on August 3rd, Ewha’s LiFE program was abolished. After its termination, students have continued their protest in calling for the resignation of the university President.