In the middle of Daechi-dong, Seoul Gangnam-gu, SM Entertainment’s idol training center “SM UNIVERSE” was built. The center, which is primarily aimed at high school students who will leave their regular education and focus on entering the entertainment industry, was created by SM Entertainment to nurture global artists. It will provide a 3-year semester system and charge up to 10 million won per semester.
According to the real estate industry on March 14, SM Universe will open on March 15. The center is a joint venture between SM Entertainment, top modeling agency ESTEEM and Jongno Academy. There will be 5 directions in the center, including producer, singer, dancer, model and actor.
In addition to entertainment lessons, GED classes will also be provided and Jongno Academy will be responsible for this exam process. According to the official, the GED course will consist of 3 hours of lectures per day in the first semester.
The number of admitted students is 120 per semester, including 40 in the vocal major and 20 in each of the other majors, who will be selected through auditions.
Vocal students will pay 10 million won per semester, which is an average of 2.5 million won per month, excluding holiday periods. Meanwhile, other majors will cost 8.8 million won per semester.
On the official SM Universe website, Lee Soo Man, Lee Sung Soo, Kangta, Bada, and U-Know Yunho are listed as mentors.
Seeing the news, many netizens are furious, believing that the listed tuition fees are too high and that the center will encourage high school students to drop out.
Here are some comments from netizens:
- SM Entertainment tries to charge for internships…
- They audition and select interns for their company while claiming to teach and raise money?
- 10 million won per semester? It’s an outrageous price
- Children need to focus on learning. Academies like this encourage them to drop out of school.
However, some netizens also defend SM, claiming that many idols start early and similar celebrity academies are already operating.