SNU Most Expensive Public University

      May 12, 2009 09:51

      Tuition fees at Seoul National University are the highest among national and public universities at W6.087 million per year (US$1=W1,238). The University of Incheon (W5 million) and the University of Seoul (W4.81 million) were next.

      Portal site daehak allimi ( published the list of university tuition fees at 205 nationwide four-year universities and colleges on Monday. It excludes colleges of education and technical universities.

      An SNU official explained that government support has dwindled for SNU as a result of an increase in the number of new national and public universities and the government's financial support for national universities in the provinces. “We had no choice but to make up for the fund resources by increasing tuition fees."

      Among all public and private universities, tuition fees were highest at Yeungnam University's second campus in Daegu at W10.4 million, followed by Catholic University of Daegu's third campus (W9.97 million).

      Overall, tuition fees have increased over the past years. According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the annual increase at private universities was 5.1-6.7 percent between 2003 and 2007.

      A ministry official said, "Under the current revenue structure, the country's private universities have to rely on tuition fees for 65 to 80 percent of their funding." At American universities, the rate hovers between 30 and 50 percent.

      Most of the government's education budget is concentrated on elementary and secondary schools. Korea's education budget is a mere 5 percent of GDP and its support for universities accounts for a negligible 0.6 percent of GDP.

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