[Letters] Government should step into the restructuring

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[Letters] Government should step into the restructuring

Regarding your June 17 editorial, “SNU’s fresh approach welcomed,” my opinion is that the government and universities have to shoulder more of the burden to cut college tuition, which is excruciatingly high.

Korea’s universities face criticism for accumulating vast capital reserves, which are managed by educational foundations but are rarely used for financial aid. Students cannot afford their tuition fees and are forced to do several part-time jobs or get a loan instead of concentrating on their studies. The government views this as a national issue because students and their families acount for 13 million people.

The government should consider not only reducing the financial burden for students but also restructuring poorly managed universities. They need to set reasonable regulations that spur the universities to renovate and create a new evaluating system that includes a graded supporting rule according to universities’ sound management and contribution to students and education.

Universities have to share what they have accumulated from government support and alumni donations. They should increase working efficiency to save money on labor fees. In an effort to help, professors also ought to agree to reduce their sabbaticals and concentrate on their research. It is a shame that there are many professors who use their sabbaticals to travel abroad or to go on golfing trips. Fundamentally, universities must use their funds to invest in improving education standards and boosting scholarship programs. The remarkable initiatives by Suwon University could serve as an example for others.

Universities earn most of their revenue from the most stable and easiest method: student tuition. It is time for universities to create environments where students can study free of financial burden. Government should intervene and take a responsibility to make the innovative restructuring be a credible reality.

*Letters and commentaries for publication should be addressed “Letters to the Editor.” E-mailed letters should be sent to eopinion@joongang.co.kr.

Gabriella, a student in Seoul
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