A student is looking at the bulletin boards on campus. [Photo by Lee Seung-hwan]
Four out of 10 universities in South Korea have plans to raise tuition costs next year as they are under a financial pressure due to a decline in the school-age population.
According to a media survey conducted Sunday on 148 presidents of four-year universities in Korea that attended the general meeting of the Korean Council for University Education, 39.5 percent, or 45 out of 114 respondents, said they have plans to raise tuition fees next year.
The figure goes up to 49.1 percent when combining the 11 respondents that said their universities will raise the fees this year.
Most of the respondents were heads of private universities located outside Seoul that have seen their financial conditions worsen due to the decline in school-age population.
Korean universities have frozen their tuition fees since 2009 when the government added “tuition fee hike rate” to the evaluation standards for universities. The National Scholarship Type II, introduced in 2012, played a key role in preventing universities from raising tuition fees, as a hike would prevent institutions from receiving state subsidies for scholarships.
The upper limit on tuition fee hike, however, was raised to 4.05 percent this year from 1.65 percent in the previous year, which prompted universities to think that the benefits of tuition fee hikes outweigh the losses of not receiving state subsidies.
The survey showed that 52 university presidents plan to use the raised fees to secure outstanding faculty members and improve their working environment. They will also be used to replace old facilities and offer more scholarships to the students.
By Moon Ga-young and Han Yubin
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]