Students Face too Much Educational Expenses

It costs a college student more than 40,000 yuan (US$5,000) to complete four-year college education nowadays. That's too much for ordinary families, said a Chinese political advisor.

China's urban per capita disposable income rose to 10,493 yuan, an increase of 9.6 percent after adjusting for inflation, and rural per capita net income grew to 3,255 yuan, an increase of 6.2 percent after adjusting for inflation in 2005.

Sun Jiye, a member of the National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said a farmer has to work hard for more than 10 years to support a college student to complete his college education.

"The expenses for studying in China's universities and colleges are relatively high in the world," he said.

Sun said Chinese students shoulder 44 percent of the daily operating expenses of higher education, as compared with around 15percent in foreign countries.

"The structure should be adjusted so that families will not be impoverished in supporting family members to study in colleges," he said.

According to a survey of China's Horizon Consultancy Group, educational spending accounts for 32.6 percent of rural household income and 25.9 percent of urban household income.

Higher education is considered something next to public goods. There's no problem with collecting some charges, but there will be a problem if the level of charges is beyond the means of ordinary families, said Sun.

Tuition for a Chinese college students increased by 25 times over the last 20 years to 5,000 yuan a year on average in 2005. Plus boarding and living expenses, it costs a college student more than 40,000 yuan (US$5,000) to complete four-year college education.

(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2006)

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