Korea, among developed nations, is a country with the highest cases of suicide. In just a span of few months, 4 students and a professor committed suicide at the same university - KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). For the Korean students there, they blamed it on the overly competitive environment since KAIST is among the top university in Korea.
KAIST has an unique system whereby students who do not attain CGPA of 3.0 and above will be penalized with deduction of the full scholarship given to all KAIST students. Some students already with study pressure will have to then find other means in earning money to pay the penalty if he/she failed to achieve the expected result.
The core issues are not the penalty imposed to "weak" students but in my opinion, the students' mindsets and through it, the Korean education system must change. From young, the students were taught to be the best so that they can easily find employments. Henceforth, the students hate failures and will usually work hard until he/she achieve what they want in life. For them, maybe entering the best university like KAIST?
When a person enters the best university, of course, he/she must do the best. If a person fails to achieve the expected result in a competitive environment, do you blame the system of penalizing the "weak"? Or do you blame the students? Again in my opinion, we should choose the right university not based on ranking or because of good employability in future. We should choose it based on the environment itself.
If a person knew that he could not cope with extreme stress, by all means pick a less competitive university. A less competitive university (most probably with lower ranking) does not equates the students as weak students. From young, I believe a university is the place to nurture us to be matured individuals and not wholly about studies. Though, my mum like all Korean mothers, thought of it otherwise - Good results are a must.
Hence, the students must be able to make decisions not based on other people's opinions but his/her true intentions based on his/her capabilities. Since what that shapes our lives are through our actions, if we want to live in a competitive environment, we should really be prepared for it. Instead of pointing the blame at the competitive environment, I think the students ought to be prepared when faced with it.
Though I do not blame the KAIST students for suggesting that competitive environment is the cause of suicide, but first, we must always ask, what makes the environment there so competitive? Isn't it the students' mindsets?
(This is just my opinion/views on the recent spate of suicide in Korea and I am sincerely sorry if I did offend anyone. I am just a 2nd year university student, so I am never a qualified person to comment on this. My view can be wrong because there are other better opinions around on the causes of suicide there at KAIST. Thanks for reading.)