Daniel Henney: diploma scandal?

The diploma scandal has been rocking South Korea for over a month now. It used to be that “only” English teachers from foreign countries fake their degrees. About three years ago (as far as I can remember), there was a native English “professor” from the US who was caught with a fake degree. He was working at a university and was earning about $60K annually plus research grants. He was eventually exposed. He never had a bachelor’s degree (the minimum qualification for an english teacher) and the last job he had in the states was as a building janitor.
The diploma scandal started when an art curator, who claimed to have a diploma from Yale University, never actually went to that prestigious Ivy League school. Soon, other prominent personalities came out and confessed that their degrees are fake or that they didn’t go to the prestigious schools they claimed to have attended. Last night while watching the 9 o’clock news on KBS, it was reported that Daniel Henney also misrepresented himself. In his resume before, it was written that he has a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Illinois in Chicago. When I checked his Daum profile today, it wasn’t there anymore. His manager explained that Henney didn’t lie about his education. It is the website’s fault that they wrote it on his profile.
In Korea’s society, education is very important. This is why parents spend thousands of dollars on their children’s private school attendance. An example is my first sister-in-law. Her kids go to regular school in the morning and still attend private school in the afternoon until late at night. Aside from regular classes, they also have private lessons in taekwondo, piano, English, Math, Chinese and Korean. They are only in grade school but they’re not at home until 10 in the evening. It’s harder for most high schoolers here. I know one student before who’s at school from 7 AM and attends private school until 2 AM! This early, my husband and I are contemplating to send our son to school outside the country. I hope we’ll be able to.
Anyway, ever wonder why Kim Ki Duk isn’t greatly appreciated in Korea? He’s an award-winning director and yet most of his movies are flops in his own country. One of the reasons, my husband said, is because he doesn’t have a college degree. I guess this is also one reason why prominent personalities “fake” their diplomas. Oh well, it isn’t only a hit in Recto Ave. I wonder if that’s where those famous people got theirs? Hmm…

Press conference at the premiere of Daniel Henney’s new movie, “My Father”.

  1. hello betchay! well, same here in manila. actors naman here dont fake their degrees or something, they just say na galing sila ganitong exclusive school, which is hindi naman. it seems na nahihiya sila sa pinanggalingan na. i knew someone before, she said na she’s from St. Scho, e she used to study in St. Paul manila, dormmate ko pa! so, hindi ako nakatiis, talagang me and my big mouth, the reason she said she was from a different school, kasi she was kicked out of St. Paul kasi. she used to do modelling and a bit of acting before. too bad, i used to have a DJ for a boyfriend kaya kumalat yung balita na yun!

  2. and yes, i have seen movies of Kim Ki duk before. I liked Bin Jip, para ngang silent movie. but you have to watch carefully, and you’ll appreciate his work naman. so, ganun pala dyan sa Korea ano? they value education so much. and you can’t blame the actors who fake their degrees, kasi parang they’re being looked down pag walang degree, diba?

  3. Hi Ms. Betchay,
    This is my first time to write in your blog. I am happy to have found this. A professor introduced me this site. I am curious really, can a Filipina work in Korea despite that she isnt a degree holder?
    I have been teaching Koreans here in Davao in the past two years, I even became the head teacher and developed programs for the students. I could say my skills have been honed well because of experience. I have the plans to go to Korea. I want to start working on the plans of setting my foot there and work. I also want to learn about the culture, tradition and practices of Korea specially in Pusan.
    Please, I hope this wont be too much but it would really be great if you can help me by giving me orientations about Korean employment and the lives of Filipinas in Korea.
    I will now be a patron of this site. I have two very important reasons why I want to be there.
    Thank you Betchay. 🙂

  4. @ Mantis >> thanks for visiting… a Filipino can work in Korea sans a degree for some jobs… teaching English in private schools (aka “hagwon”) is not permitted for citizens of non-native English speaking countries… if you desire to work in the field of education, then a university degree is a must… Koreans put a lot of value on education (and diploma) and the degree of respect that you can get from them is sometimes based on it…

  5. Hi,
    I just randomly found your blog via the Korea Blog List, and I’m glad I did, but it’s going to take me a while to read all your archives! I’m also especially glad to find a blog by someone in Korea from the Philippines, as I’ve been hearing a lot about the large numbers of Koreans going there in the news recently, and have even blogged a little about that myself, but I’ve never heard the reports from a Filipino’s perspective. I have a lot of questions to ask you later!
    In the meantime, I don’t mean any offense, but I don’t think Kim Ki Duk not having a degree is one of the reasons he isn’t really appreciated in Korea at all. I think that that’s just an excuse really. My wife, who is Korean, concedes that most Korean people don’t like him because he brings attention to unsavory aspects of Korean society like teenage prositution, and naturally people from ANY country wouldn’t like their country’s problems hightlighted on the big screen! But I personally like him for that very reason, and am glad that SOMEONE is drawing attention to issues here that are all too often hushed-up here in Korea.
    I admit though, just because he’s often a social critic doesn’t mean his movies are always good at all, and I hated “The Island” for instance. If you’re interested in him, I first read about him here:
    Sorry for the length, I just wanted to say Hi really! I look forward to reading more of your blog.

  6. there must be some huge $$$ mine in korea for even native english speakers to fake their degrees…the shame….this is great insight though..wonder if they do it here in singapore as well….

  7. ive checked one korean website and i was surprised to know that kang dong won has a degree in mechanical engineering at hanyang university(this is another good university in korea but not as good as kim tae hee’s SNU?^^)…and he’s included in the top 5 of his class! i wonder who among the korean actors&actresses had a university degree to “showboat” and who could speak good english..i heard lee da hae and jeon ryu won could speak english well..how true?

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