Fixing Private Universities
The Ministry of Education has decided to reinforce accounting auditing supervision.
It also previously decided to restrict the increase of tuition fees and to eliminate admission fees gradually.
The government officially began to fix private universities after announcing plans to eradicate corruption in private education.
Kang Eun-narae has more.
In November last year, an accounting fraud of over ten billion won was discovered at the University of Suwon during investigations launched by the Private School Innovation Promotion Team of the Ministry of Education.
Seonam University is facing the possibility of closing down after the founder embezzled school funds amounting to over 30 billion won.
There are only 20 schools subject to annual auditing out of 283 private universities nationwide, despite criticisms that external accounting audits are just nominal, with the schools being audited every 14 years.
The Ministry of Education plans to increase the number of schools subject to annual auditing to approximately 60 by 2020 and to reduce the auditing period to five years, which would be approximately 1/3 of the current period.
This year the education minisitry is newly organizing the Private Educational Institution Accounting Audit Committee composed of lawyers and accountants for this purpose.
The plan is to prevent accounting corruption in private universities by increasing financial transparency.
The Ministry of Education previously decided to eliminate admission fees gradually for both national/public universities and private universities and reached an agreement with the KAPUP.
Tuition fees were limited to a maximum increase of 1.8% but were practically frozen as they were linked to state scholarship payment standards.
<Private University Personnel> “They are reinforcing accounting audits on top of being in such a situation in general. We would feel pressured. But we can only watch as it unfolds. There are only policies for restricting us so far…”
The Private School Act amendment was recently passed by the related standing committee of the National Assembly, which details the regulations for remaining assets of corrupt private schools being redeemed by the national treasury when the schools close down.
The pressure against private universities, which still rely on tuition fees by over 60%, will only continue to increase.
Kang Eun-narae reporting for Yonhap News TV.
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