On August 6, the Yeungnam University administration decided to reduced 10 percent of the first semester tuition fees in connection with COVID-19. Therefore, students will be exempted from 10 percent of the first semester tuition. The total amount of reduced income for the school will be about 4.5 billion won, and the administration will raise funds through various budget reductions and withdrawal of reserves. Students who graduated in August 2020 received a tuition refund through their personal account before graduation. The Student Council said they expect to be paid 10 percent of the original tuition without considering the 100,000 won “special scholarships.”
Concerning the decision to cut tuition fees, YU President Sur, Gil Soo said at YU news room, “I am well aware that students are having financial and psychological difficulties due to the long and tiresome COVID-19 situation. The university is also in a difficult situation, but to overcome COVID-19 with students, we decided to cut tuition next semester. We will do our best to provide administrative and financial support to help students concentrate on their studies.”
Currently, Daegu University, YU, Kyungpook National University, and Andong National University have decided to cut tuition fees for the second semester among universities in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province. Keimyung University also decided to cut tuition fees by way of special scholarships.
Unlike universities, colleges cannot easily decide on the return of tuition fees. As of August 8, only Keimyung College University decided to pay 200,000 won in cash per student as a special scholarship. College tuition refunds are not easy due to smaller school sizes and worsening financial conditions. “As the Ministry of Education has secured 24 billion won for the innovation support project in universities, the tuition fee refund will be made anyway,” said an official at a local college. Hence, many people predicted that college tuition refunds could be decided around 5 percent.
However, when it was revealed that the scholarship budget had been reduced, students complained that the university had refunded tuition by reducing the scholarship budget. In response, the student support team said that they did not reduce the scholarship budget only to finance the tuition refund, but reduced the overall budget of the school to overcome financial difficulties, one of which was the scholarship budget. Moreover, they said they knew the students’ feelings, but hoped students would understand.