A reporter recently visited one of the schools, a four-year university in Jeju. The campus was eerily quiet, despite it being final exam time. “It’s a ghost town,” said a 72-year-old Jeju resident.
When the reporter finally caught up with some students, he couldn’t understand what they were saying because they were from China.
“It’s become so difficult to recruit students domestically, so the faculty and staff went to China and toured around its cities, pitching half-priced tuition for Chinese students,” said a university official.
Around 30 percent of the school’s 490 students are from China. The figure is 50 percent if you include students taking short-term Korean-language courses. Most of the Korean students pay 6.1 million won ($5,629) annually, an expensive sum by Korean standards. The Chinese pay half.
If a university's enrollment falls below a certain number, it loses out on government funding, so shipping in Chinese students to fill seats might work. On the other hand, the Korean students are paying double!
The problem for me -well, the price is a problem, too - is that we can't be told what university this is. We also can't know the name of the university that here is "forced to cut costs to the bone. “The toilet in one building has no toilet paper, so students have to bring it with them,” said a 23-year-old student at a college in Gangwon. "
The university in Gangwon that I worked at had toilet paper back in 2009, so this article probably isn't about it. Students, and their parents, should be able to learn these things, though. It sounds like the Joongang attempted some good investigative journalism here, but the attempt is useless without the names.
Sorta Related: GI Korea wonders if Koreans are paying too much tuition.