The Korea Herald

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Gov't, ruling party agree to spend 1.5 tln won for tuition support

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Published : Sept. 8, 2011 - 18:19

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The government and the ruling party agreed Thursday to set aside 1.5 trillion won (US$1.3 billion) in next year's budget to help curb soaring college tuitions, party officials said.

The agreement came at a meeting among the Grand National Party(GNP) and the finance and education ministries. The money will be used to set up "national scholarships," provide subsidies for students from lower-income families and help colleges carry out restructuring programs, officials said.

The move comes as high college tuitions have become a hot political issue as the unpopular ruling party is mulling a package of welfare measures to woo voters ahead of the general elections in April next year.

Earlier this year, the GNP and the education ministry had agreed to reduce tuition fees by 21 percent for students from families whose household revenue puts them in the bottom 70 percent income group.

If the budget proposal is approved in parliament, the fund will be funneled to 346 colleges nationwide, excluding 43 private universities that were ranked at the bottom of a recent government evaluation for their poor management, officials said. (Yonhap News)