13,000 medical students to seek injunction against medical school quota hike

April 17, 2024

Some 13,000 medical students plan to collectively seek court injunctions to halt their schools’ expansion of admission quotas, a lawyer said Wednesday, as the walkout by protesting trainee doctors continued for nearly two months.

The injunction requests will be filed next Monday by students from 32 medical schools outside Seoul against the presidents of their universities, asking the court to halt the schools’ revision of admission plans to reflect increased medical school seats, said Lee Byeong-cheol, a lawyer representing the students.

As part of the much-resisted medical reform, the government allocated an additional 2,000 medical school admission seats last month to universities across the nation, 82 percent of them to universities outside the broader capital region.

Currently, universities are in the process of updating their admission plans for the 2025 academic year to reflect increased medical student quotas and are expected to announce them in late May.

Lee claimed that the quota increase could seriously erode the quality of education provided by the schools to the extent that it may infringe upon constitutionally guaranteed rights for learning.

So far, a total of six legal suits, including injunction requests, have been filed by the medical community against the quota increase plan.

Four of them have been denied by courts, including injunction requests filed by an association of medical professors and the leader of the trainee doctors’ association.