The government announced its plan to construct the first University Student Dormitory in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul in November 2011. The construction will be completed by early 2014, and accommodate up to 500 students from universities in Seoul.
Contrary to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s (MEST) initial announcement of a monthly rent fee of 190,000 won, the final cost is assumed to be 230,000 won, a sum that has recently aroused student concerns and disapproval.
Upon such change, Min Housing Network, a student union that aims to solve student housing problems, raised questions on the dormitory’s efficacy in reducing students’ financial housing burden as first proposed by the MEST.
“The dormitory is too expensive for students,” Min Housing Network stated at its press interview. “Its monthly rent fee exceeds even that of typical one rooms. Since it does not provide much benefit, students have no reason to move in.”
The dormitory’s budget, 13 trillion won in total, is taken solely from public funds. Seventy trillion won from the National Housing Fund and 62 trillion won from the Korea Foundation for the Promotion of Private School (KFPPS) will be paid off solely with the residents’ rent fees. Min Housing Network states that such system only raises the amount students have to pay.
“The main reason for the increase is the government paying its construction debt with students’ rent fee,” Min Housing Network said.
Upon students’ urge for change and solution, the KFPPS expressed a strong inclination to keep the initial promise.
“We fully understand the students’ concerns,” said a KFPPS official. “We will find a way to set the final price to 190,000 won.”