Gov't to Probe Korean Air Heir's University Transfer

  • By Ahn Jun-yong

    May 31, 2018 13:13

    The Education Ministry is the latest of multiple government branches to become involved in a snowballing scandal surrounding the Korean Air owner family.

    The ministry on Wednesday said it is sending investigators to Inha University next week to probe allegations that Korean Air president Cho Won-tae illicitly transferred to the university in Incheon.

    Cho Won-tae

    Cho, the only son of Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho, completed 33 credits with a dismal GPA of 1.67 at a nondescript two-year college in the U.S., but then took a further 21 credits at Inha University as an exchange student in the second half of 1997.

    In March 1998, he smoothly transferred to the third year at Inha University's department of business administration.

    Normally, a transfer to a proper four-year university in Korea requires a student from a two-year college to have completed 60 credits with a GPA of at least 2.0.

    Cho junior had only taken 54 credits, but his father was the chairman of the foundation that runs Inha University at the time.

    An audit by the Education Ministry concluded that Cho Won-tae's transfer had been expedited inappropriately, but only demanded that university staff take punitive measures and did not void his transfer.

    Inha University said records show that some staff were given a minor penalty, but claimed there was "no problem" with Cho's transfer as a separate admissions committee considered applicants from schools abroad.

    The Cho family are suffering a blizzard of investigations into their conduct, from habitual abuse of subordinates to luxury-goods smuggling and tax dodging.

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