국립대학인 서울대학교의 법인화를 내용으로 하는 ‘국립대학법인 서울대학교 설립 운영에 관한 법률’의 제정과 반값 등록금을 요구하는 촛불시위는 이명박 정부의 고등교육정책과 그에 대한 대중의 저항을 잘 보여주는 부분이다. 국립대학의 법인화정책을 포함한 이명박 정부의 교육정책은 신자유주의 경쟁정책의 연장선상에서 이해할 수 있다. 이명박 후보의 교육공약 중 특징적인 것은 ‘취업후 학자금 상환제’ 정도이다. 그러나 이 역시 학생들의 등록금 부담을 해결하는데 한계가 많다는 것이 드러나고 있다. 이를 제외하면 이명박 정부의 고등교육정책은 김대중 정부나 노무현 정부와 크게 다를 것이 없다. 즉 국립대자율화조치로서 법인화정책, 사립대자율화정책과 부실 사립대 퇴출정책을 그대로 승계하고 있다. 이 글에서는 교과부가 추진하는 국립대 법인화정책과 사립대 구조조정정책을 비판적으로 평가한다. 이를 통해 법인화정책은 국립대를 사립대학으로 만드는 공교육 포기 정책이고, 사립대 자율화정책은 사립대학에 대해서는 더 많은 자유와 특권을 보장하려는 정책으로 공적 관리의 포기 정책임을 드러내고자 한다. 이러한 신자유주의정책에 대한 대중적 저항을 기반으로 공교육을 강화하는 정책을 대안으로 제시한다. 그 출발점은 고등교육비의 국가부담이다. 구체적인 방안으로는 국공립대학 위주의 고등교육 설계 방안으로 ‘정부책임형 사립대학 구축 방안’을 제시한다.
In this Paper, I intended to analyze a series of new higher education reform policies of Lee Myung-bak government. They are commonly characterized by ``marketization`` and ``autonomy and accountability`` of higher education. The ``marketization`` was an extensive introduction of competition mechanism in the field of higher education, and ``University autonomy and accountability`` was privatization. Public education system will be threatened if higher education services are included in neo-liberalistic moves. The right to get a good education becomes more and more a question of money. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology emphasized national competitiveness in the 21st century knowledge-based society and the quality of human resources. But in my opinion national human resources development policy did not justify the new higher education reform policies. Because human resources development on the national level does not become the goal of public higher education. We want an education system for people, not for profits, which has been shown at a series of student demonstrations such as “tonsure protests” by university students. This also brought criticisms from the opposition, the Democratic Party. In Korea students have to pay tuitions and fees to colleges or universities. Pay increases have caused chronic controversy. Household spending on higher education has been rising inexorably over the past few years, aside from a temporary dip during the financial crisis. Significant progress is necessary in the restructuring of higher education in Korea. Korean higher education shows several distinctive features when compared with other countries. First of all, the majority of higher education institutions are private. About 87% of higher education institutions are private. About 78% of university students and 96% of professional school students enrolls in private institutions. As private institutions rely heavily on tuition revenue, their fees are considerably high. Even public universities in Korea charge substantial tuition, because governmental support for higher education in Korea is too small. Public financial expenditures on higher education as a percentage of GDP are very low at 0.3%. The net result is that the household sector bears the bulk of the financial burden for higher education. The proportion of governmental subsidies was limited to 22.3%, much lower than the OECD average(68.9%)(Education at a Glance 2011). Partly the rapid expansion of higher education supply has started to exceed the demand. In spite of the outward goal i. e., strengthening the global competitiveness of universities, the policy of the Ministry of Educations, Science And Technology has focused on shutdown of private institutions. The government has launched a campaign to restructure universities by weeding out financially-week private schools and merging state-run ones. The government`s move to weed out underperforming schools is tied to its tuition-cut drive. Korea needs to reform the universities with reviewing ways to lower tuition. But the proper way of higher education reform should begin to subsidizing higher education institution. The government needs to increase financial subsidy rather than weeding out substandard schools to upgrade the quality of higher education. Korea`s public education spending per student was lower than the average of other OECD member states, according to the organization`s 2011 edition of Education at a Glance. Under purchasing power parity(PPP), the conversion index used to compare price levels for different countries, Korea`s public education spending per student stood at $9,081 for higher education schools, lower than the OECD average of $13,717. The government did not invest properly in higher education. We point out that the government needs to spend more on public education.