On Aug. 2, 2017, the Ministry of Education declared that it had decided not to accept the acquisition proposals of UOS and Sahmyook University over Seonam University. Accordingly, the Ministry made their position clear by deciding to shutter Seonam University, which was experiencing financial problems resulting from corruption by the foundation.
According to an acquisition plan submitted in early May by UOS and Sahmyook University, each respective university said they would push ahead with a financial plan for normalizing Seonam University. According to The Seoul Shinmun, Sahmyook University pledged 165 billion KRW over 10 years, while UOS said they would contribute 207 billion KRW over 5 years for normalization.
However, the Ministry of Education judged both financial support plans insufficient. The Ministry demanded repayment of the money that Seonam University’s prior foundation embezzled from school educational expenditures, an amount that totaled 33 billion KRW. Both universities, however, took a passive position on the matter. In addition, the Ministry claimed that both universities were only interested in acquiring the College of Medicine, with little regard to improving the overall quality of education.
As soon as the shutdown process begins, students of Seonam University will be transferred to universities nearby. The college of Medicine will be transferred to a neighboring university following discussions with the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Both residents of the community and students at Seonam are reacting bitterly to the decision, continually demanding normalization.
Meanwhile, UOS is pushing ahead with the establishment of a graduate school specializing in public health. According to Yonhap News Agency, UOS will be the first university in Korea to offer a graduate program in this field. Its purpose will be to train experts who can take action when epidemics like MERSC (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus) and Zica virus break out. It is planning to advertise for its first wave of applicants from 2018.