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Shanghai Enhances Education Fees Management
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Having successfully applied for the state educational loans, a freshman surnamed Sun from the Micro-Electronics Department of the East China Normal University was able to pay his 5,000 yuan (US$625) tuition and 800 yuan (US$100) accommodation fees.

"The fees are reasonable and acceptable. Maybe they are the lowest in Shanghai," said Sun.

The average charge standard for Shanghai's universities and colleges is 5,000 yuan (US$625) per academic year and according to local regulations, without the formal approval of educational authorities, tuition and accommodation fees cannot be raised arbitrarily.

Jin Liyan from the East China University of Political Science and Law said that the average tuition fee for law is 7,000 yuan (US$875), higher than other majors.

"Several years ago, the average costs were as much as about 10,000 yuan (US$1250). But now we pay less and our accommodation charges do not rise. It is great for us students," Jin added.

Qiu Sainan from Shanghai Normal University said: "As a student, no matter how high the education fees are, we have to pay for it."

She questioned the need to pay 5,000 yuan tuition for one academic year. "It is too vague and unclear. We do not know how these charges are made."

Her schoolmate Hu Xiaowen also had the same doubts and suggested the fees should be counted by academic credit hours.

Fan Zihao from the Fine Arts School of Shanghai Normal University also wanted to know why, at an average of 10,000 yuan (US$1250), fees for arts are always higher than other majors, but even his teacher could not answer him.

A circular issued by the Shanghai Education Commission on September 3 clarified and detailed all the charges. Fees for services provided by a college must be non-profit and assented by students themselves.

(China.org.cn by Wang Ke, September 11, 2007)

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