Authorities have lessons to learn from overcharging by universities
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]
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.