[르포]Universities that raise food prices… ‘Campus Borit Ticket’ in the academic crisis

Students have a meal at the Yonsei University Student Center ‘Matnasam’ around 4 pm on the 16th. Reporter Yang Hyung-wook
September, when the second semester begins. As face-to-face classes expanded from the first semester, major university campuses in downtown Seoul were filled with students. However, behind the lively appearance, there is also a dark shadow.

This is due to the ‘study rebellion’ which overlapped with the old prices. Student cafeterias operated by universities charge a ‘learning’ price in time for the start of the semester. Students with poor pockets tend to seek education. Students cry when even the last bastion of learning, the last bastion, rises while food prices are not too high in restaurants near the school because of the rising prices.

According to CBS Nocut News broadcast on the 19th, major universities in Seoul, including Korea University, Yonsei University, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and Sookmyung Women’s University, have increased the cost of meals from at least 500 won to 1,000 won this year. It was also found that Hongik University is also considering raising Haksik meals.

Although the inflation rate for eating out in August recorded 8.8% and no slowdown was detected, college students are having a hard time reducing their lunch prices as they are raising food prices one after another even in university student cafeterias. Some say government support is needed to revive Hakhak’s purpose of providing high-quality food to students at an affordable price.

College students ‘cut lunch prices’ in response to rising school fees

On the 15th, a notice was posted on the student cafeteria bulletin board at Korea University.  Reporter Yang Hyung-wookOn the 15th, a notice was posted on the student cafeteria bulletin board at Korea University. Reporter Yang Hyung-wook
“I would like to inform you that the price of student cafeterias will inevitably increase due to the sudden increase in the price of domestic food materials and imported food.”

At about 11:30 am on the 15th, in the student cafeteria of Korea University, there was a ‘Guide for the price increase of the student cafeteria’. From the 19th, the price of school education would increase by 1,000 won from 5,000 won to 6,000 won.

Shin-mo (24), a student at Korea University who returned to school this semester, spends about 4,000 won for one meal, including instant rice, seaweed, and chicken dishes. He said he would bring the pre-bought ingredients into a container at home and take it out at lunchtime to eat. Shin said, “From a student’s point of view, when you go up from 5,000 won to 6,000 won, the front seat changes, so there’s a psychological burden of ‘all going up ‘.”

As well as Mr Shin, those who have lunch in each school’s student cafeteria agreed that “the price is high and it is burdensome”.

Yonsei University raised the cost of meals in the 500 won student cafeteria again this year, following last year. On the 16th, Yonsei University student Hyeon-seo Yoo (24) met on campus and pondered for a long time between Boneless Potato Soup (5,500 won) and Ramen (2,000 won) at the kiosk to order ‘Matna Saem’ ‘ in the student cafeteria. . He said, “Since I mostly only eat school meals, the price change definitely has a big impact on my food expenses,” he said.

Also, student A, who lives near Yonsei University, said, “If you look at food and monthly rent as living expenses, there is no money left from the money earned in the part-time job.

Sookmyung Women’s University also raised the cost of meals in the faculty and staff cafeteria, which is often used by students on March 2, by 1,000 won. “Since face-to-face classes started in earnest, I have to come every day during the week, so the burden of food costs has increased,” said Park (23), a current student.

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, which is known to have relatively cheap tuition, has increased the price of lunch and dinner from 500 won from the 1st to 4,000 won food. However, it was found that the tuition at the Alumni Center has increased from 5,500 won to 6,500 won, which puts a burden on students.

The price is rising, but the quality of the education? Voices ‘need to expand government support’

At around 4 pm on the 16th in the Yonsei University student cafeteria 'Matna Saem', students are considering the menu in front of the kiosk.  Reporter Yang Hyung-wookAt around 4 pm on the 16th in the Yonsei University student cafeteria ‘Matna Saem’, students are considering the menu in front of the kiosk. Reporter Yang Hyung-wook
According to the ‘National University Student Survey 2022’ conducted by the National University Student Association Network (Jeondae Net) between March 15 and April 30, it was found that college students feel the biggest burden on food costs (47%). This is higher than training (27.1%) and housing (14.2%).

In fact, there were students who had to fill their meals with just one chicken breast because of the burden of food costs. A 26-year-old mother-in-law, a student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, explained, “Since I live alone, if I eat lunch and dinner outside, it costs me a lot” w eat, so it seems like I eat one meal right and eat the rest.” A pack of chicken breasts sold online costs around 570 won.

Even in this situation, university authorities, such as Korea University and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, said that there were no procedural problems in raising the tuition fee, and that student dissatisfaction was not high as it was an inevitable measure due to the increase. in prices. A Korea University official said, “I understand that it is an early agreement after several discussions (with the student council) regarding the increase in the cost of the student cafeteria.”

An official from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies also said, “We sought understanding by reconciling differences with the student representatives, and we understood that they understood the school’s position in terms of sharing the pain.”

However, it seems inevitable that the university is increasing the burden on students as the cost of tuition rises amid changes in the living environment due to inflation, economic decline, and the expansion of face-to-face classes.

Jeondaenett, who held a press conference against the increase in education prices in front of the presidential office in Yongsan-gu, Seoul on the 7th, argued, “The increase in the price of education threatens the right to eat for college students. He also said that the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs should expand the ‘Woncheon Won Breakfast’ project, which is being implemented in some universities, to include lunch.

In a phone call with CBS Nocut News, executive chairman Kim Min-jung of Jeondaenet said, “Education has been in the red despite the need to increase the consumption rate because nutritionists formulate a balanced diet. It should be stabilized,” he said.

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