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3 out of 10 university students witness bullying: report

June 4, 2023 - 13:23 By Choi Jae-hee

Three out of 10 Korean students attending four-year universities across the nation have witnessed their peers falling victim to bullying, a report said Sunday.

The National Youth Policy Institute published a report titled "Research on Bullying Among University Students and a Study on Preventive Measures for Improvement," which included the results of an online survey of 467 undergraduates from four-year colleges nationwide.

Among the respondents, 135 students, or 28.9 percent, said that they have witnessed bullying at school. Of them, 68.9 percent saw their classmates suffering from verbal abuse, followed by 32.6 percent who witnessed sexual harassment or sexual assault, and 17 percent said they witnessed physical violence.

Of those who witnessed bullying, 66.3 percent said they did not report it to school or police officials, while 27.9 percent said they made reports.

The number of undergraduates who have been subject to bullying accounted for 8.6 percent, or 40 students, of the total respondents. Of them, some 48.4 percent of them were victims of verbal abuse, while 14.1 percent suffered from physical violence.

Overall, 97.5 percent of the victims did not report the bullying to the school or police. As to why they hid the fact they were bullied, 32.1 percent said that they thought the overall impact on them was not severe, followed by 26.4 percent who said it wasn't a big deal. Others said they were afraid of retribution from the perpetrators.

"Even though they are grown-ups, college students still need assistance and support in dealing with bullying. It is crucial for local universities to set up a committee to adopt strong measures against school bullying and enhance the faculty's capacity to address (such) cases effectively," the report said.