□ Research Purpose
Society constantly changes and evolves. Social changes influence policies, and these policies are inherited and implemented through the process of maintaining and amending the direction and contents of existing policies. Again, these policy changes can either positively or negatively influence various social groups, organizations and even our daily life.
In this context, the Korean higher vocational education field is no exception. Since the introduction of the modern Western education model, Korean higher vocational education has undergone constant changes and development. These changes and development are believed to have greatly contributed to industrial and economic development of and social stability in Korea. However, in response to social changes, both domestic and foreign countries, as well as both academic and industrial fields, have also faced changes in higher vocational education environment. These problems include the decrease of birth rates, changes in industrial technology level and demand, and globalization. Therefore, a change in roles and functions of colleges, which are in charge of higher vocational education, is an urgent issue today.
The need for a change of social apprehension and a change of the existing colleges and the need to response to a new environment will persist. Accordingly, new school management strategies, including preparation of political countermeasures and plans of the government and relevant organizations, need to be established. Therefore, the expansion of functions of colleges as higher vocational education institutions can be considered as the establishment and reinforcement of college identity through the roles of colleges in various environmental changes and the government’s political support for those changes.
This study aims to investigate the changes in roles of colleges as higher vocational education institutions and in supportive policies and functions in response to social changes. Our second goal is to find ways to expand college functions as a new strategy to cope with recently emerging demands and needs.
□ Methods and Scope
First, a literature overview of previous work in the field was conducted. We analyzed the existing research literature and relevant statistical data on the actual state of changes in academic and non-academic environment and status of colleges. We also examined the literature related to higher vocational education institutions. Based on the existing research outcomes, we also analyzed the cases of higher vocational education institutions at the college level in the United States and Japan.
Second, an expert advisory meeting and a focus group interview (FGI) were conducted. Through the advisory meeting with experts in the field of colleges, the opinions on the current state of colleges were collected and an improvement plan for colleges was elaborated. Furthermore, through the FGI, the actual state and future prospect of colleges were examined.
Third, the actual state of colleges was investigated and analyzed. The actual condition survey was conducted with experts in the field of colleges. In the next step, based on the survey, political improvement plans and policies were suggested.
The study was conducted with colleges, which are higher vocational education institutions, without distinction of location. The macroscopic expansion of functions of colleges, rather than all the entirety of college-related data, was investigated in the qualitative and territorial aspects. Meanwhile, the period of the research was limited to the Park Geun-hye administration policy period, and the foreign cases were limited to the researches from the United States and Japan.
Given our specific research scope, the present study has several limitations. First, as our respondents were mostly college professors and relevant experts, the interview contents had the limitation that the position of colleges was greatly reflected. Second, there is a limitation to various case analyses due to the college scale, the non-separation of colleges in capital areas from those in local areas, and the limited number of foreign cases.
□ Research Contents
First, the analysis and implications of relevant previous research were suggested. In fact, various college-related themes and development plans have been investigated until now and have greatly contributed to the development of colleges by being used for policies. This study collected and classified the domestic research outcomes related to the functions of colleges as higher vocational education institutions and selected key words from them to classify and analyze. Accordingly, the key achievements and implications for college function expansion were drawn. In particular, the future-oriented suggestions, including college function expansion and development plans, were extracted and a survey on the feasibility of these suggestions was conducted.
Second, the environment and status changes of colleges as higher vocational education institutions were analyzed. As mentioned in the section on the research purpose, both domestic and foreign, as well as academic and non-academic changes regarding colleges frequently occurred in recent years. Thus, changes in college-related laws and policies were investigated and the changes in college status and implications for function expansion were examined. In particular, we confirmed the current problems of colleges, deducted the implications, and assessed college problems, such as the shortage of college function and learning resources.
Third, the actual state survey and analysis on colleges were conducted. The college-related statistics and actual conditions were investigated. The opinions of college experts and authorities were collected. In particular, the actual condition analysis and an expert focus interview were performed for the preparation of policy plans. Fourth, we analyzed the function expansion cases of foreign higher vocational education institutions. In order to deduct implications for function expansion, we identified excellent cases by visiting community colleges in the United States and analyzed the relevant college cases in Japan.
Fifth, we sought ways to expand college functions as higher vocational education institutions. The main contents include basic premises and directions of function expansion, elements and models of expansion, function expansion strategies, and main tasks and methods of expansion. Finally, based on the above research outcomes, the political proposal for college function expansion was formulated and presented.
□ Conclusion and Proposals
Within the context of social changes, Korean colleges have changed and served the role of higher vocational education institutions. Colleges in Korea have faced various challenges initiated by constant environmental changes. Even now, there are numerous periodic and environmental demands to improve college identity and functions and to expand functions of colleges.
However, even though extensive research has been previously conducted on the problems, tasks, and plans of colleges, the existing practices and performances are insufficient due to various reasons. Some point out that there are still negative perceptions of Korean colleges in the educational background-based society, including concerns about poor educational conditions and high tuition fee dependency ratio.
In these circumstances, the demand of constant education of highly skilled labor force and the shortage of this labor force have intensified. Alongside with the movement of advanced countries, which establish graduate schools of applied sciences in vocational education institutions, Korean colleges should also enhance international mobility and competitiveness of domestic higher vocational education.
Therefore, considering the high demand of highly-skilled workers due to the industrial advancement and convergence, departments and majors need to qualitatively and quantitatively expand and einforce various functions through the diversification of the years required for graduation, ahead of industrial demand-customized manpower training.
The various discussion results in this study confirmed that the expansion of functions of colleges as higher vocational education institutions is a very complicated process. Nevertheless, the following proposals are expected to contribute to the expansion of functions of colleges and the reinforcement of their identity and status.
First, the purpose of colleges should be reestablished. As mentioned above, relevant law needs to be amended and further developed.
Second, the macroscopic function changes of colleges should be initiated. For example, the following directions can be set: ①training of professional labor force; ② constant education and re-education of adult learners and incumbents; ③ public goods and social security network supporting the admission and employment of vulnerable social groups; ④ contribution and voluntary activities for local society; and ⑤ mitigation of the educational background-based society atmosphere and prevention of over-education.
Third, the macroscopic functions of colleges should be expanded. In terms of the qualitative reinforcement of colleges, the following methods can be considered: ① the government’s financial support to colleges (national subsidy, financial support policy equivalent to general universities, etc.); ② the establishment of a developed education system where the government takes the responsibility of vocational education, including free education; ③ the implementation of various curricula and vocational education (the subdivision of curricula and departments and the diversification of the years required for graduation); ④ the reorganization of the overall degree structure of higher education (academic degree curriculum, nonacademic degree curriculum, graduate curriculum of colleges, degrees in vocational and general education, etc.); ⑤ the establishment of evaluation standards for the improvement of educational quality, including NCS and NQF; ⑥ the securement of competitive faculty (flexible faculty management, practice reeducation support for faculty in response to periodic and technologic changes, colleges that prepare methods to autonomously produce faculty members; and ⑦ the improvement of the perception of college staff (authorities, faculty). In terms of the quantitative reinforcement of colleges, the following methods can be considered: ① a close analysis on the current functions of colleges (searching methods to improve efficiency and activation of current functions); ② the improvement of college structures from the mid- and long-term perspective (for the purpose of making the colleges that face difficulties due to domestic and foreign environmental changes fulfill their essential purpose and carry out their social functions); ③ the recovery of college status as vocational education-centered colleges (diversification of the years required for graduation from colleges, restrictive measures on the duplicated departments in four-year universities with colleges); and ④ the establishment of a college education quality management system (establishment of an evaluation index depending on college characteristics).
Fourth, in addition to the above proposals, we also propose the following measures: to enhance the status of colleges as higher vocational education-centered institutions, to expand the college role in lifelong and vocational education, to foster colleges through educational tuning, to improve vocational education strategies of colleges, to develop the functions of colleges based on the SHRD academic and industrial cooperation, and to improve relevant functions of colleges.
고등직업교육기관으로서 전문대학의 기능 확충 방안
세종 : 한국직업능력개발원
|Series Title; No||기본연구 / 2015-18|
|Subject Country||United States(Americas)
Japan(Asia and Pacific)
South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
|Subject||Social Development < Education
Social Development < Employment