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Korean universities lower tuition fee

About one-third of Korean universities announced they will lower their tuition fees by 4.8 percent on average for the 2012 school year in a bid to meet the government’s request to reduce tuition costs in line with state tuition subsidies for students.

A total of 109 universities out of 344 nationwide plan to lower their fees by 4.8 percent on average from last year, according to the Korea Student Aid Foundation on Tuesday.

“Students will be able to feel the change, with a tuition fee cut combined with state tuition subsidies plus extra scholarships offered by their schools,” said a KSAF official.

Sixty-nine percent of schools lowered their tuition by more than 5 percent, while 18 percent lowered the fee by three to five percent. A less than three percent reduction was done by 13 percent of the 109 schools.

Pusan National University, Myongji University, Gumi College and Yeungjin College were among the several public and private four-year universities and polytechnic colleges that lowered their tuition fees by more than five percent.

Of some prestigious private universities in Seoul, Korea University announced a 2 percent reduction, while a few others including Yonsei University have not yet decided their final tuition fees for the upcoming semester.

All universities that have not decided their tuition fee level are required to report it to the KSAF by Friday.

The universities’ decision is seen as an attempt to maintain the status quo or lower tuition fees after the government announced they will differentiate the amount of state scholarships to students depending on the level of tuition reduction.

The government announced it will offer 1.75 trillion won ($1.54 billion) in tuition subsidies to college students to ease their college tuition burden. The move is expected to lower nominal college tuition by 25 percent for the bottom 70 percent income bracket.

By Lee Woo-young  (