According to the results of MOE and KCUE, the average tuition per four-year university student this year is 6.67 million won. Starting from 2012, the tuition has been lowered each year by 4.3 percent in 2012, 0.46 percent in 2013 and 0.24 percent in 2014. However, despite the downward trend of tuition, due to the low reduction rate, the tuition is considered to be fixed rather than reduced and the general opinion of students is that the reduction of tuition has little practical effect to lighten the burden on students.
“Since the rate of reduction is so low, it does not have any effect,” Jung Su-inn (Korea University, 2) said. “In fact, my school lowered the tuition by only about 10,000 won this year. The tuition must be used efficiently and reduced more to lessen the burden on students and their parents.”
The average tuition shows a considerable difference depending on regions. The average tuition per student of universities in the Seoul Metropolitan Area is approximately 7.52 million won, whereas the tuition average is 6.16 million won in the noncapital region.
The MOE and the KCUE also provided a list of 20 universities, in order of expensiveness of tuition. Yonsei University ranked first place by 8.67 million won and is followed by Eulji University by 8.5 million won, Korea Aerospace University by 8.47 million won and Ewha Womans University by 8.43 million won.
An official of the MOE commented that regarding the government policy and the inflation rate, the real reduction rate of tuition is higher than the rate that is shown on the surface.
“The rate of reduction itself may seem low,” said an officer of Scholarship and Financial Aid Division in MOE who wishes to remain anonymous. “However, as the government is offering National Student Aid proportional to the income of families as a part of the half tuition policy, the burden on students and their families is actually lessened. In addition, current tuition of universities is the same amount as six years ago. Considering the fact that the tuition is fixed or reduced despite the inflation rate, the practical reduction rate is higher than students think.”