SEOUL, March 3 (Korea Bizwire) — While most universities have decided to postpone the start of the school year to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus, 8 out of 10 college students think that tuition fees should be partially refunded, according to a survey.
The National University Student Council Network, a network of 27 university student councils, said on Monday that 12,000 students participated in an online survey that began on February 27.
According to the survey results, 83.8 percent of the respondents answered “very necessary” or “necessary” when asked if they thought tuition refunds were necessary in the course of postponing classes or replacing them with online classes.
Some 62.5 percent of the respondents said they were inconvenienced in the course of adjusting their academic schedules due to the spread of COVID-19.
More specifically, 49.4 percent of the respondents said that there were insufficient alternatives, especially for hands-on classes in labs or studios.
This was followed by ‘poor quality of online classes’, accounting for 40.9 percent, and ‘housing insecurity due to adjustment of the duration of residence in dormitory’, accounting for 16.2 percent.
In a meeting with the Ministry of Education on February 28, the student council network said, “We encouraged each school to guarantee student participation in the coronavirus response task force and demanded that tuition be refunded.”
The organization also demanded that students be guaranteed their right to class through the supply of recording equipment and platforms for online lectures, the provision of masks and hand sanitizer for offline lectures, and the disinfection of classrooms.
“The Ministry of Education was consistent with irresponsible answers, such as ‘the participation of students on the task force cannot be recommended by the Ministry of Education’ and ‘legally, it is difficult to return tuition fees’,” the National University Student Council Network said.
The network went on to say that the response to the COVID-19 outbreak was a matter directly related to the academics and life of university students across the country, and that it will make efforts to realize student demands, including the return of tuition fees, the guarantee of class rights and the guarantee of students’ human rights in the quarantine process.
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)