Educators gone wild

From KoreaBang, “Korean Teacher Beats Up Student, Then Masturbates in Hallway.”

Somebody was clearly having a very, very bad day.

On a much more serious note, we have what appears to be a professor using, to put it charitably, a very poor choice of words (see the end of the video) towards a foreign student (HT to Twitterer).

The video is apparently courtesy Elvira Tanjung, an Indonesian-born researcher in lovely Jinju. Usual caveats about Youtube videos—i.e., you don’t really known what you’re watching—apply.

UPDATE: Elvira Tanjung wrote about the incident in the Korea Times:

After the professor returned to Korea, he visited my rented room. He was visibly angry and yelling at me. He threatened to cancel my degree. I was shocked but I wanted the world to know how horribly he dehumanized me, record it and upload it to YouTube.

I would like to give information to other prospective students out there, because I don’t want other people to experience the same thing we did. That video probably lasted only four minutes, but that’s what happened to me almost every day during the past two years I studied under his supervision. He never treated me with dignity at all.

Those words and treatment are unacceptable; we could sue him for insulting someone from another country. All we could do before we go back to Indonesia was to report this problem to the Indonesian embassy in Korea and send them the video. Staff from the international office at GNU talked by phone to staff at the Indonesian embassy to clarify the problem.

I’d say the university and professor in question probably owe the public an explanation.

  • wombat


  • gmm

    I hope this professor gets the POSCO shaming–he’s seems like a real dick.

  • yuna

    Some teachers were much worse when there was no law against corporal punishment at school…there is a reason why Koreans have a derogatory word to describe teachers like “Pig” for police – “꼰대 Kkonde”

  • mitchel-murray

    Korean Professor to Foreign Student: “You are not human . . . You’re animal.”

    This should be front page news. Thanks for posting.

  • dww

    Can’t believe that guy is a professor. What a horrible piece of shit.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    It seems like some stricter screening and background checks would be in order.

  • thedrew

    Was posted about in the korean times, but they didn’t link to the video

  • thedrew

    The title of that video changed from mentioning gyeongsang to now having a new title. Thats very interesting.

    I guess we can email them for details.

  • geekken

    The ME professor is an ass, especially for using that language.

    However many departments and graduate schools require that graduate students have a paper published (or at least accepted for publication) before graduating. Sometimes this is an unwritten rule. Yes, while these students completed the courses and requirements from the university for a degree, a department likely adds a caveat that the student should also have an accepted paper. I highly suspect (the Korean professor immediately asks, ‘Why did you come (to) our lab?’) that this guy has an unwritten policy that students need to have a paper accepted, or at least submitted, before graduating. For research, this is not something unusual in any country.

    Everything is vetted before a student graduates. There is thick file of forms, paperwork, and records that are parsed through. All their courses are grades are given a permanent record. So once that degree is handed over, that’s it. The university can’t suddenly pull back a degree once it’s awarded as they’ve already signed off that the student has completed everything to graduate. When these students have their diploma in hand, they can go anywhere and state they have a Master’s in ME.

    Now I’ve got a nagging feeling these students looked at the ‘requirement’ from their professor for publishing a paper, and then looked at the graduate school requirements (which likely don’t have it) and figured, “screw it, we’ll put in our application to graduate, get our degrees and get the hell out of here.” Who knows. Maybe the professor was an ass and they had enough of him (likely). Maybe their project is dead in the water and no way it can be published. Maybe they felt their graduation date was being dragged out as the professor wanted to keep them on as cheap technicians, or to complete some other research project for another year or so (after all if I had to stick around making nothing as a grad student instead of working for a serious salary, I’d be resentful too).

    However, if I took in some students, told them they needed to at least submit a paper before graduating, and everyone agreed to this, only to find out the students turned around and submitted their graduation application after just completing their coursework… I’d be pissed too. I highly suspect this is the case. They made a professional agreement, a promise, to get a paper submitted. Instead they may have turned around, just put in the class time to get their degrees, and move on.

    The ME professor is an ass for using this language. He is totally unprofessional in how he interacted with those students. He may very well be a racist monster. But I am wondering if there is some other side to the story here that we are not getting.

  • Robert Koehler

    geekken, I suspect there may be another side of this, too. One of the reasons I’m keen to hear an explanation from the school.

  • Lorne

    While I too am curious to hear more about the situation, I have one question. Why is this asshole teaching foreign students if that is the extent of his ability in English? I know elementary school students who can speak better than that. ‘Okay?

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    He isn’t teaching English, he is teaching engineering.

  • 3gyupsal

    @ 9 Professors in Korea are also known for taking papers submitted by students and then having them published in their own names and taking the credit for them. Professors are also known to steal scholarship money. I have also heard from foreign students about how they have to work in the labs more than Korean students, Korean students get chuseok and new years off while foreign students don’t. I hope this guy gets screwed over bit time, and I hope that this can become a big enough issue so that Korea has to deal with how it treats foreign students.

    I’ve also heard stories about Russian doctors who work at university hospitals in Korea who get paid about 900,000 won a month despite being more competent than most Korean doctors. Koreans give the reason that these people are from poor countries so they should be grateful.

  • PineForest

    His English was sooo horrible.. I hope he’s not teaching Engineering in English.

  • Brian D

    Bobby’s got an interesting discussion going on his Facebook wall. Watching the tape they admitted to not fulfilling all the requirements, and her explanation in the Korea Times says she improperly took the certificate home. None of that excuses the professor’s language, but it does make you wonder why they were taping what should have been an innocuous conversation . . . unless, of course, they expected something to go down.

    Regarding the English, that surprised me, too. Isn’t proficiency in Korean a requirement for enrollment? The GNU website is a little ambiguous, and the wording makes it seem like either a Level 3 on TOPIK or an 80 on the iBT TOEFL is required. It also says international applicants must pass a Korean proficiency test through the university’s language school, though again the wording makes it seem like a TOEFL score would suffice. The application checklist says the Korean proficiency score certificate is optional. Was it a case of someone insisting on using English with a foreigner, or did they demonstrate over the course of their time that they could not communicate in Korean? Level 3 on the TOPIK is okay, but it’s not that high, especially for academic work in engineering.

    Ms. Tanjung has some explaining to do, too, since she decided to take her frustration public.

  • Cloud

    @13 – I heard 3gyupsal likes to mutilate kittens and collect kiddie porn.

  • mitchel-murray


    Calls for circumspection are always warranted and more info is always a good idea. But to say “Ms. Tanjung has some explaining to do” puts the burden on the wrong party.

    The video speaks for itself.

    We’ve got a university professor telling a foreign student “you are not human, you’re animal,” not to mention the threatening hand gestures that are enough to make the woman have to take a step back to avoid contact. This is clearly an unacceptable insult (and possibly a racially motivated one) and any question of degree requirements or Korean proficiency requirements is beside the point.

  • marcel joseph

    Korean uni rankings go up with English speaking teachers and Korean uni profs make more money if they can teach in English. They share the complicity.

  • Cloud

    The video of the professor was linked in the open thread by @ccmongt a few days ago. I have to agree that there is ABSOLUTELY no reason for a professor to EVER call a student “not human” and “an animal”. If he had a legitimate complaint, he should have called her into his office and not confronted her outside and ask her “why did you come to our land”.

    It is likely she was recording it because she had been spoken to in this manner by this professor before. It’s a good thing she got it on tape and I hope he gets his tenure taken away. This kind of behavior is not going to attract international students to come study here and his remarks were definitely bigoted.

  • Cloud

    I read her Korea Times article and watched the tape again and he did say, “why did you come to our lab”, not “land” as I thought. It also seems he held back the certificate because she still owed a paper. She admits she ran away with the certificate even though she was told she had to wait for the professor to return from Japan. He also took her friend and fellow Indonesian student to the conference in Japan, so perhaps he is not as biased as I thought.

  • fanwarrior

    #17 The video does speak for itself, or it would if the video was unedited. Watch it again and tell me if you notice anything strange. There is more than one point where the video does something weird, like it’s been edited.

    Also watch the student herself. It’s obvious she’s trying to wind up a professor who struggles with English. She lies in the course of the video (pretending she has no idea why he’d have a problem) then later they both admit not finish all the coursework.

    In the Koreatimes article she claims to not know the reason he’d withhold their certificate, but, despite his poor English, they both seem to know the reason in that video, which was published before the article.

    She’s lying, and it’s obvious that she’s trying to stitch this guy up.
    Who knows if he really said that or she edited it in from another recording.

  • mitchel-murray

    “Professor calls foreign student a ‘low animal’”

    Foreign writer, English newspaper. Better than nothing. Strange that his name wasn’t used in the article.

    I would think that a professor arranging to have his son from another university as a co-author on his student’s academic paper would be problematic in terms of professional ethics.

    Here are three papers of hers with, one assumes, father and son as the co-authors:

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