최근 예일대 등록금 6000만원 등의 기사 등을 통해 주로 미국 사립대 등록금이 언론에 주로 소개되다 보니 많은 이들이 한국의 대학 등록금은 아직 크게 높지 않은 것으로 착각하고 있다. 하지만 사실은 한국 대학 등록금은 실질적으로는 세계에서 가장 높다. 왜 그런지를 따져보자.

 

우선 <도표1>에서 2006/2007학년도 기준 OECD 국가별 국공립대 등록금 수준을 살펴보자. 도표에서 알 수 있듯이 구매력평가 기준 달러환산 한국의 국공립대 등록금은 4,717달러로 5,666달러인 미국을 제외한 모든 OECD 국가보다 등록금이 높았다. 한국은 사립대뿐만 아니라 국공립대의 등록금이 대부분 나라의 등록금보다 비교하기 힘들 정도로 더 높다는 것이다. 반면 스웨덴, 노르웨이, 아일랜드, 아이슬란드, 핀란드, 덴마크, 체코 등에서는 국공립대의 등록금이 전혀 없으며, 프랑스, 스페인, 이탈리아, 오스트리아 등에서도 거의 미미한 수준의 등록금을 내고 있다.

 

한국의 사립대 등록금 또한 OECD 국가들 가운데 미국 20,517달러에 이어 8,519달러로 두 번째로 높은 것으로 나타난다. 이 또한 핀란드, 스웨덴, 아일랜드 등에서는 사립대 등록금이 한 푼도 들지 않는 것과는 극명한 대조를 보이고 있다. 특히 한국의 경우 다른 나라에 비해 국공립 대학이 전체 대학에서 차지하는 비중이 22.0% OECD 국가 가운데 가장 낮은 반면 사립대 비중은 가장 높은 것으로 나타난다. 사립대의 등록금이 상대적으로 국공립대보다 훨씬 비싸다는 점을 감안하면 실제로 일반 가계가 부담하는 한국의 대학 등록금은 이미 OECD 국가 가운데 가장 높다고 봐야 한다. 명목 등록금이 세계에서 가장 높은 미국의 사립대 비중은 33% 정도에 불과해 실제로 대학생 1명당 평균 등록금은 한국이 7664달러, 미국이 1585달러로 그 격차가 현저히 줄어든다.

 

<도표1> OECD 국가별 국공립대 등록금 및 공사립대학 비율



 

() OECDEducation at a Glance 2009 자료로부터 KSERI 작성. 중간

도표에서 파란색은 순수 사립대를 나타내며 나머지는 정부의존형 사립대임.

 

액면 등록금을 비교해봐도 OECD 국가 가운데 두 번째로 높지만 경제력을 감안한 등록금 수준을 비교해보면 한국은 미국보다도 훨씬 더 높다.

 

아래 <도표2>를 참고로 사립대 명목 등록금이 가장 높은 미국이나, 한국처럼 사립대의 비중이 높으면서 사립대의 명목 등록금도 높은 일본의 등록금 수준과 한국의 대표적 사립대인 연세대와 고려대의 명목 및 실질 등록금 수준을 비교해 보자.

 

이를 알아보기 위해 연고대 및 하버드대와 게이오대의 장학금 차감 실질등록금을 1인당GNP로 나눈 비중을 비교해보았다. <도표2>에서 우선 고려대의 경우 단과대학별 2009년 평균등록금은 913만원으로 1인당GNP 대비 43%로 나타났으며, 장학금을 차감한 실질등록금은 703만원으로 1인당GNP 대비 34.9%로 나타났다. 연세대의 경우도 등록금은 935만원에 1인당GNP 대비 43.1%, 장학금을 차감한 실질등록금은 710만원으로 1인당GNP 대비 35.2% 수준으로 거의 비슷하게 나타나고 있다.

 

이에 비해 일본의 게이오대학은 학부별 평균등록금이 130만엔에 1인당GNP 대비 31.8%로 나타났으며 장학금을 차감한 실질등록금은 평균 70.5만엔으로 1인당GNP 대비 17.2%에 불과한 것으로 나타났다. 또 미국의 하버드대학의 경우 학부 등록금은 1인당GNP 대비 66%로 높게 나타났지만 장학금을 차감한 실질등록금은 29%로 나타났다. 이로부터 각국의 1인당GNP를 기준으로 장학금을 차감한 실질등록금의 비중을 비교해본 결과 일본 게이오대학과 미국 하버드대학이 한국의 고려대나 연세대에 비해 더 낮게 나타나고 있다. 즉 한국의 고려대와 연세대의 등록금이 미국과 일본의 최고 사학으로 불리는 대학들보다 상대적으로 훨씬 비싸다는 것이다.

 

<도표2> 한미일 주요 사립대의 실질 등록금 비교


 

     () 각종 자료로부터 KSERI 작성

 

 

지금까지는 등록금이라는 비용(cost) 측면에서만 따져 보았지만 대학 교육서비스를 통해 학생들이 얻는 편익(benefit)을 따져보면 더 큰 차이가 난다고 할 수 있다. 단적으로 교수들의 수준이나 교수 대 학생수만 비교해보아도 큰 차이가 난다.

 

우선 교수 대 학생 비율을 비교해보아도 하버드대의 경우 2009년 기준으

로 학생수(학부생 및 석박사 과정생) 20,222명인데 비해 강의교수는 3,125(전임교수 1546+시간강사 1579)과 의대 협력교수 7,897명 등 총 11,022명에 이른다. 반면 연세대는 학부생 26,530명과 대학원 석박사 과정생 11,437명을 합쳐 37,967명인 반면 전임교원 1,814명과 비전임교원 974, 시간강사 1,390명 등 4,178명에 불과하다. 학생수는 연세대가 1.8배 이상 많은 반면 교원 수는 연세대가 하버드대의 40% 수준에 불과한 것이다. 더구나 하버드 대학의 교수들은 이미 각 분야에서 노벨상을 수상했거나 노벨상 수상후보로 거론되는 교수들이 수두룩할 정도로 연세대 교수들의 평균 수준보다 훨씬 높다는 것은 자타가 공인하는 사실이다.

 

이 같은 대학의 질적 수준에 대해서는 각종 국제적 대학 순위 평가에서도 이미 여러 차례 드러난 바 있다. 물론 평가기관의 평가기준 등에 대해 여러 문제점을 지적할 수 있지만, 어떤 평가기관에서 조사하든 한국 대학들의 수준이 국제적으로 높이 평가 받지 못하는 것은 분명한 사실이다.

 

예를 들어, 국제 대학 순위 평가에서 가장 많이 인용되는 영국 QS더타임스의 2009년 세계대학순위 평가에서 한국의 경우 서울대(47), 카이스트(69), 포스텍(134), 연세대(151), 고려대(211) 등으로 높은 순위에 기록되지 못했다. 반면 미국은 하버드대(1), 예일대(3), 시카고대(7), 프린스턴대(8), MIT(9), Caltech(10) 10위권에만 6개 대학, 20위권 안에만 13개 대학이 포진하고 있다. 또 일본의 경우 도쿄대(22), 교토대(25), 오사카대(43), 도쿄공과대(55), 도호쿠대(97) 등으로 한국 대학들보다 훨씬 더 상위에 랭크되고 있다. 이처럼 단순 액면 비교에서든 질적 비교에서든 한국 대학의 등록금은 세계에서 가장 높은 수준임이 명백하다.

 

다음 글에서는 이처럼 가장 높은 한국의 대학 등록금을 낮추기 위해서는 어떻게 해야 하는지를 살펴보기로 하겠다.  

 





모든 사람이 땀흘린만큼 제대로 대접받는 건전한 민주주의 시장경제 건설을 위한 좀더 의미 있는 토론과 참여를 원하시는 분들은 김광수경제연구소포럼(http://cafe.daum.net/kseriforum)을 방문해주십시오.

 


by 선대인 2010. 2. 26. 10:00
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