Civil Service Shows Heavy Regional, Educational Bias

      September 14, 2010 10:05

      A disproportionately large number of senior civil servants are graduates of certain universities and come from certain regions, a lawmaker revealed Monday.

      Democratic Party lawmaker Lee Yong-sup of the National Assembly Strategy and Finance Committee analyzed data submitted by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security. He said of 1,500 senior government officials, about two-thirds went to high school in Seoul and the Gyeongsang provinces and nearly half are graduates of Seoul National, Korea and Yonsei universities.

      As of June, alumni of high schools in Seoul made up a huge proportion of senior government officials with 563 (37.5 percent), while 410, or 27.3 percent, were from the Gyeongsang provinces. They were followed by those from the Jeolla (249), Chungcheong (135) and Gangwon (51) provinces.

      Graduates of universities in the Seoul metropolitan region overwhelmed the others. Some 695 graduated from the country's top three universities, taking up almost half or 46.3 percent. SNU graduates topped the list with 441, Korea (132) ranked second and Yonsei (122) third. Sungkyunkwan University came fourth with 89, followed by Hanyang University (71), the Korea Military Academy (63) and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (55).

      Altogether 1,206 were graduates of universities in the metropolitan region, accounting for a whopping 80.4 percent of the 1,500 senior officials.

      "The serious bias toward graduates from certain schools and regions among senior officials is due in large part to chronic nepotism," Lee said. "We have to conduct a drastic personnel reform, because such bias in the personnel structure can pose a hurdle to achieving social integration and a fairer society."

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