Registration Madness
Registration Madness
  • Reporter Jung Han-kyu
  • 승인 2010.06.09 16:29
  • 댓글 0
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▲ Reporter Jung Han-kyu
“I couldn’t sign up for the class I wanted again. This is four semesters in a row!” Such complaints were easily heard across the campus on Jun. 1, the first day of registration for the summer semester. Students who never wake up before 9:00 AM are awake at 7:30 AM seated in front of a computer, or several computers for some, trying to click on the “register” button before others could. The registration process has been such a hot potato for many years now because not enough classes are available for students to take and the registration process itself is very outdated. With its bold proclamation to be among the world’s top 20 research-oriented universities within 20 years, POSTECH needs to revaluate policies such as registration that have direct effects on students.

First of all, there are way too few courses being offered for summer semester. The purpose of registering for the summer semester is, I think, to spread the heavy burden of regular semesters or make up pre-requisite courses that one didn’t do so well at so that one could register for the next level course. However, summer is not long enough for students to take courses for their major, so the school doesn’t offer any of them. As a result, students all flock to Humanities courses. Due to such few choices, a bottleneck effect occurs; way too many try to sign up for way too few courses. Knowing this, the school should offer more choices. Instead of expanding popular courses to accommodate the demand, all that school has done is to eliminate unwanted courses by going through pre-registration. The real problem, however, is that there are too few classes for each course offered. At least the school should expand the number of classes for each course or open up new ones such as writing which is actually required for graduation.

As many users on the online school community PosB have complained, the registration process is neither fair nor logical. Of course the first come first served basis is fair, but a different method must be installed with such few classes being offered for about 1400 undergraduate students. This year for example, the registration opened up at 7:30 AM. Despite the early hour, all slots in summer courses were completely filled, except for one or two, within less than five minutes. Because it became greatly competitive, some students even run an automatic program to reserve the slots they want. Such activities are rampant because it is so hard to sign up for just a single course, let alone more than one. It is a perfect example of the law of supply and demand. Also, freshmen who may not yet be aware of such situation are very likely to become victims. I couldn’t sign up for French myself because I had no idea that it was this competitive.

It won’t be so straightforward and simple to fix these issues, but I’d like to propose an alternative. The school should limit the number of slots that are available on the first day of registration. Next, the school ought to divide the student body into several groups and allow each a random, but different time slot to register. For example, group one will be able to start registering for classes at 9:30 AM, and then the next group at 10:00 AM, and so on. However, the freshman and graduating class should have the top priority in registration time so the freshmen won’t be victimized for obliviousness and the graduating class could hopefully graduate on time. By doing so, the students will wait until their registration time slot is open and everyone will be given a fair and square chance to sign up for classes, or at least higher chances of getting into their wanted course.

This plan is actually currently in use at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where I attended for three semesters. In my experience, this works pretty well and I was satisfied with the results for the most part. Of course it won’t be possible to make everyone happy, but I think the school should at least devise or benchmark a registration protocol such as the above to keep the majority content. These things add up to positive school reputation and before anyone realizes it, POSTECH will be the most desired school known for its world’s best academics and world’s best student policies. I mean everyone wants to be merry and happy after all.