Korat dorms hit hard by drop in university enrolment

Korat dorms hit hard by drop in university enrolment

A drop in the number of students at universities in Nakhon Ratchasima province affects the domitory operators who rely on students as their main tenants. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)
A drop in the number of students at universities in Nakhon Ratchasima province affects the domitory operators who rely on students as their main tenants. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)

NAKHON RATCHASIMA: Operators of dormitories say their businesses have been severely affected by a sharp drop in the numbers of students entolled at universities in the past few years.

Nakhon Ratchasima, the gateway to the northeast region, is home to many higher educational institutes including the Rajamangala University of Technology Isan, the Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University and Vongchavalitkul University. These universities in the past had large numbers of students, causing dormitories to mushroom.

In recent years, however, the numbers of students has dropped sharply. For instance, the Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University in 2015 had an enrolment of 22,766 students. The number dropped to 12,796 in 2019.

As a result, the number of students staying in these dormitories has decreased.

Somsong Atthakraisri, the owner of Mae Kim Huay dormitory in Muang district, said all 42 rooms of his building were fully occupied in the past. Today, only 25 rooms are occupied while the others are left empty.  A sign "rooms for rent available" has been permanently posted in front of his dormitory.

Mr Somsong said he has reduced the monthly rental to 1,800 baht from 2,400 baht and added more services as incentives, such as free Internet, free cable TV and security guards on duty around the clock.

He said the smaller number of students staying in dormitories is caused by many factors, including the fact that universities have built dormitories inside their campuses to take first- and second-year students on a compulsory basis. The room rental per semester is about 5,000 baht.

Moreover, more students have opted to take vocational courses.

Mr Somsong said some dormitory owners have put their businesses up for sale to avoid operating at a loss.

Dormitory operators have called for the government to help by reducing household and revenue taxes, and regularly conducting repairs on roads, street lights and the sewerage system as well as providing sufficient trash cans, he said.


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