Kyunghee University’s Graduate School is under fire for allegedly allowing two idols to be admitted through “special treatment.” SBS first reported this on January 16, with specific details but without naming names, and since then people have been busy speculating who it may be.
“Famous idol A was accepted into Kyunghee University’s Graduate School in 2016. He had to go through the proper stages and get specific documents along with an interview but he did not do these things. That’s why he received a grade of 0 for his initial entry process. Two months later, the school opened its applications for additional applicants. Just like the first time around, this idol did not show up for the interview but this time, he was fully accepted into the graduate school.”
— SBS 8 News
They mentioned that the idol in question was in a music band, and worked both as an actor and MC. It also mentioned the idol’s breakthrough role being a 2009 drama. After such specific information, people couldn’t help but think of CNBLUE‘s Yonghwa.
He fits the description perfectly especially since his breakthrough role was in the 2009 drama “You Are Beautiful”.
FNC Entertainment later responded to these reports and admitted that Yonghwa was indeed the idol under question but denied that he had any intention of cheating his way into his PhD.
“As Jung Yonghwa’s agency, we would like to apologize for the controversy with regards to the Kyunghee University PhD degree. Jung Yonghwa and our staff in charge of him were recently summoned by the police and investigated for his entrance into the applied arts PhD program at Kyunghee University. (For your information, the applied arts industry is a faculty dedicated to studying and producing the ability to produce contents with regards to music.)
Jong Yonghwa passed the Kyunghee University Graduate School entry examination process in January 2017 after the school strongly urged him to apply for the entrance. He passed the examination during the additional applicant acceptance period.
Many Korean entertainers and celebrities lead a busy schedule due to their activities and promotions. Their agencies coordinate with their artist and the school, to make a custom schedule that fits everyone’s needs for their particular situation.
Jong Yonghwa’s agency was in charge of handling all the proper documentation and tasks pertaining to his education. Such as the application documents for the entry process and contacting the school for the application process.
Both Jong Yonghwa and his agency thought that he had passed the interview process in a normal way and passed the graduate school without any problem. It was only when the issue was brought up that the whole process was paid attention.
Jong Yonghwa believed that the interview process, along with the education standards for him were absolutely normal. He believed his interviews were normal and all he did was the follow the schedules given to him by his agency.
Although Jong Yonghwa is being investigated by the authorities, him along with his agency had no intention to enter the school by violating any rules. He is very apologetic about the situation and he has taken a leave of absence from school since.
Jong Yonghwa applied for the PH.D in Applied Arts in the Fall Semester of 2016. He failed to pass the admission examination because he made the error of not applying properly in the entry process. Due to the shortage of applicants in the field in question, the school urged Jong Yong Hwa to apply again by contacting his agency.
A professor in charge of the faculty even contacted us stating that there was a shortage of applicants and that he wished Yonghwa would apply and support the faculty.
The 2017 entrance procedure had such a shortage of applicants that everyone who applied was accepted. Therefore Yonghwa did not enjoy any advantage in entering a difficult program nor does he – as a celebrity to whom the public’s image is vital – have any need to do so.
If we had realized that the university rules prohibit private interviews and that one must go to the school for the interview we would have adjusted Yonghwa’s schedule to make that possible and would never have risked his public image in such a way.
We are extremely sorry for causing such an issue and realize that we are responsible. We would like to sincerely apologize.”
Before reports confirmed that Yonghwa was the idol under discussion, Super Junior’s Kyuhyun and Block B’s Zico were also names that were thrown out as people who may have benefitted from special treatment and admission. These speculations were all because of preliminary reports that had little information.
However, SM Entertainment promptly released a statement to firmly deny the accusations.
“Reports talk about an idol that was able to get accepted into Kyunghee University’s graduate school without an interview. We are here to firmly say that Super Junior’s Kyuhyun is completely innocent. These reports have nothing to do with Kyuhyun and all the rumors are far from the truth. Kyuhyun is absolutely not the idol in question.”
— SM Entertainment
The police are currently investigating the accusations and are looking into all the officials at Kyunghee University’s Graduate School that may have had a hand in this scandal.