Authorities have lessons to learn from overcharging by universities

(China Daily)
Updated: 2017-04-14 07:24:54

Freshmen carry their baggage on the first day of their college life at Huaibei Normal University in Huaibei, Anhui province, Sept 12, 2012. [Photo/IC]

ARTS MAJOR STUDENTS at Xi'an International Studies University have complained that they were charged 11,000 yuan ($1,600) tuition fees every school year, which is higher than the legal standard of 9,000 yuan. The university responded that it had adjusted the tuition fees to the national standard in 2015, and it had reimbursed the amount overcharged in 2013 and 2014. Beijing Youth Daily comments:

After the complaints from students at Xi'an International Studies University, students from several other colleges in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, also complained that their universities overcharged for certain majors. Shaanxi provincial price bureau has said it is investigating the matter.

The case shows that the authorities have been a little loose in regulating university tuition fees.

Xi'an International Studies University had overcharged its art major students for years, but it was not until 2015 that the local price bureau found out and asked it to return the money. Worse, two years after the order was issued, the university has still not finished returning the overcharged tuition fees.

Other universities have reportedly been overcharging for years, too, but the local price bureau did not investigate them until students complained en masse.

The bureau needs to strengthen the regulatory measures and make them clearer to prevent such overcharging from happening again.

An important reason for certain colleges overcharging students is that the documents regulating tuition fees are rather ambiguous, which has left loopholes for colleges to overcharge.

That is why, despite the fact that the Ministry of Education and the National Development and Reform Commission launch inspections at the beginning of every school year, some colleges still overcharge students.

The investigation led by Shaanxi provincial price bureau is still going on, and we look forward to its conclusions. More important, we hope the authorities can strengthen supervision over the universities and reform the tuition fee system so as to plug any loopholes allowing universities to overcharge students.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form.