The consumer price index hit a 10-year high of 5.6 percent in
July, causing students to worry that their meal prices on campus
would also go up.
Statistics showed that the average price of a dish served up in
university cafeterias in Beijing, Wuhan and Guangzhou recently had
increased by 0.1 yuan (1.3 cents) to one yuan (13 cents).
Some students from Peking University are even choosing to dine
at neighboring Tsinghua University because the latter is currently
maintaining cheaper meal prices.
Resources from Xinhua News Agency reported that the central
government has earmarked an 8.44 million yuan allowance fund
(US$1.055 million) for more than 600,000 college students from
impoverished families in Guangxi Autonomous Region to cover two
months' living expenses.
The Ministry of Education ordered all universities to stabilize
their canteen meal prices in the wake of recent food price
The cost of keeping the canteen meal prices down will be borne
by the universities and local governments, which have been told to
increase subsidies to campus cafeterias.
Wang Xuming, a spokesman from the Ministry of Education, said:
"Universities and colleges across the country must stabilize their
food prices, adjust the type of food available without reducing the
nutritional content and guarantee their supplies of low-priced
He suggested that college cafeterias reduce waste and cost and
urged school officials to focus on the issue.
"Under current conditions, it is very important for universities
to budget wisely," he added.
Wang advised colleges to sign meat supply contracts directly
with food processing plants in order to reduce costs.
(China.org.cn by Wang Ke, September 11, 2007)