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University warned over survey that got too personal, violated students’ rights

A private university received a warning from the nation’s human rights body over a mandatory survey that included highly personal questions.

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea said Thursday that the University of Suwon, located south of Seoul in Gyeonggi Province, violated students’ rights by requiring them to fill out the detailed questionnaire before they could check their exam scores.

National Human Rights Commission of Korea (Yonhap)
National Human Rights Commission of Korea (Yonhap)

In December, the school added the 95-question survey to the lecture evaluation questionnaire that students must fill out in order to view their test results. Some of the questions concerned private and sensitive matters, such as sexual relationships, sexual orientation and financial status.

A student filed a complaint about the survey with the rights commission in January.

The school said the survey had been developed by the student counseling center as a reference for its future counseling services, and that respondents were guaranteed anonymity.

But the commission concluded that it constituted a rights violation and ordered the center to educate its workers on human rights and take other corrective measures.

By Choi Ji-won (