Seven famous K-pop idols had their college diplomas revoked by the South Korean Ministry of Education last month. The reason — they did not attend classes as required by the graduation rules. Those who lost diplomas include Jang Hyun-seung, Yong Jun-hyung, Yoon Doo-joon, and Lee Gi-kwang from the boy band Beast. Yook Sung-jae and Seo Eun-kwang from the band BTOB and popular folk singer Chu Ga-yeol also lost their diplomas.
The stars were enrolled at Dongshin University’s broadcasting and entertainment department for their education. But due to their busy schedule, they rarely showed up for classes. Despite the severe lack of attendance, the university still gave them enough credits to be qualified for their diplomas.
When questioned, the university explained that it has a policy that counts broadcasting activities as attendance. And since the idols were engaged in media at the time, their absence was overlooked. However, the argument of the university falls flat since the policy only came into effect in 2015. All four stars had attended the university prior to this.
To make matters worse, the university also gave some of them scholarships worth about US$53,000 between 2010 and 2011. This was done without following due procedures. One of the stars even taught at the university as a lecturer while remaining enrolled as a student! The gross violation of education rules irked the ministry, which finally decided to revoke the diplomas of the K-pop stars.
“The ministry will take stern action against corruption regarding college entrance and diplomas, as it gives huge social impact and shakes the foundation of whole educational institutions,” Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae said in a statement (South China Morning Post).
Since the ministry saw the actions of the university as destroying the public’s trust in education, it has asked them to reprimand staff members who were involved. The university acknowledged that it had made a few mistakes.”
“We will closely review the measures to protect as much as possible those alumni who had received credits and degrees according to the above rule. And will set up the complementary measures, including reorganization of the policy for a thorough operation of the school,” the university said in a statement (CNN).
Smart K-Pop idols
While some believe that K-pop stars are not that bright and only have a basic education, the fact is that there are some who have not only snapped up top college degrees, but have genius level intelligence.
RM from BTS reportedly has an IQ of 148, which makes him an “official” genius. He learned English on his own by watching TV shows like Friends. In middle school, he scored 900 on the TOEIC exam. Park Kyung has a recorded IQ score of 156 and even secured a membership at Mensa. Aron from NU’EST was in the top 0.5 percentile in the U.S. SAT exams, scoring 2180 points out of a possible 2400.
Eric Nam majored in International Studies from Boston College in 2011, graduating with distinction. He also spent a year at China’s top educational institution, Peking University. After getting his education, he received an offer for the post of Business Analyst at Deloitte Consulting. But Eric decided to participate in the Birth Of A Great Star 2 that kicked off his career.
Tablo from Epik High is known to have an IQ of 160. The fact that he managed to get consistent A grades while studying at Stanford, a feat that is near impossible to achieve, is a testimony to his intelligence.