Accumulated money: Behind numbers
Accumulated money: Behind numbers
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2013.09.13 17:01
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Sitting in an interview with the assistant head of the Office of Financial Affairs (OFA), I have come to realize that numbers do not do much explaining.
In an analysis report presented by the Education, Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee of the National Assembly, Ewha’s accumulated money was ranked highest among other private universities with 758.7 billion won.
The number 758.7 billion, a 12 digit number, can appear extreme when left alone, but once you get the chance to hear where it is used, how it was amounted and what the underlying explanations are to the “outrageous” amount, things clear out a bit.
Accumulated money in terms of school budget
According to the OFA, the budget of Ewha is approximately 550 billion won. Thus, having 750 billion won in “savings” cannot be seen as extreme. For better understanding, the official explained as follows: Say your mother makes 5 million won per month. And she has 7.5 million won worth of savings. She may need money in the future for who knows what, but in that situation she would have her savings with her. This is nothing unusual. Same goes with Ewha, just on a bigger scale. When coming to thinking of things in a logical sense, the accumulated money owned by Ewha is not too much, it is normal, and the official even says there should be more.
Building fund – renovations and refurbishments on campus
The accumulated money is then used for remodeling and refurbishing school buildings, scholarships, research, faculty welfare and any other school management purposes. In the past few semesters, the school has recognizably improved school facilities – Hakgwan and Ewha Womans University Library have undergone overall remodeling, facilities have been upgraded in the Ewha Campus Complex and Ewha-POSCO Building and dormitories on campus have also been refurbished.
Then have the expenses placed on these renovations been extracted from building funds of the accumulated money? The answer is, not entirely. This year, remodeling of campus facilities was partially achieved with money provided by the government. Ewha was selected for the Support Business for Education Capacity Reinforcement and received approximately 3 billion won. With this money, and some more from the building fund, the school was renovated.
Accumulated money and tuition
Students may also ask where the tuition goes to and whether it has anything to do with the accumulated money. There are even some students who even think that the accumulated money is a sum of all our tuition.
However, tuition is far from being related to the accumulated money. The OFA states that earnings from tuition only amount to 300 billion won. Therefore, in order to fulfill the school budget of 550 billion won, the school has to make profit through other channels.
Furthermore, students continue to request more reduction in tuition, but it will be highly unlikely for such a change to take place. For the past five years, tuition was frozen or reduced, and considering the inflation rate, it has been a 25 percent decrease from before. In other words, what used to be 1 million won of income has become 750 thousand won. The OFA claims that Ewha was able to hold out until now because of its strong foundation. However, they prospect that further reduction will be impractical – the school will not be able to operate properly.
Though the accumulated money seems over the top when only exposed as numbers, when taking into consideration the school budget, the number of students and the efforts placed by the school to improve both student and faculty welfare, it does not seem as an excessive number. Eventually the accumulated money will come back to benefit Ewha students.

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