‘Half-price’ tuition plan half works
The government’s controversial “half-price college tuition” plan partially affected this year’s tuition for universities. An average of 4.5 percent was reduced in tuition fees at 186 universities and colleges throughout the country this year.
The reduction rate, however, somewhat disappointed many as the Korean Council for University Education said it will “make efforts to reduce the tuition fees in all universities and colleges by an average of five percent,” during an extraordinary general meeting at Sookmyung Women’s University, together with presidents from 150 universities, late last year.
The average tuition for this year of those four-year universities was 6.7 million won ($5,999). The average for national and public universities was 4.15 million won, while it was 7.37 million for private universities.
Of the 186 universities, 96 managed to reduce their tuition by more than five percent, 35 universities were able to reduce it by three to five percent, while 45 universities decided to reduce it by less than three percent. Six universities didn’t make changes. Four universities, including the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Korea National University of Education, Daeshin University and Calvin University, however, raised their tuition this year.
As renowned universities in Seoul, including Yonsei, Korea, Ewha Womans University, Sogang University and Sungkyunkwan University only reduced their tuition by an average of 2 percent, they were being criticized for not taking it seriously enough to make a change.
The number of expensive private universities that charge students more than 8 million won a year decreased by half from 50 last year to 24 this year.
The University of Seoul ranked top in terms of the rate of reduction with a 49.96 percent cut, and was the only university to nearly actualize the government’s half-price college tuition plan. Tuition for the university this year is 2.38 million won, down from 4.78 million won last year.
By Yim Seung-hye [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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