Unis told to cut fees by 50%

Unis told to cut fees by 50%

Universities and schools are being told to reduce their tuition fees by up to 50% to help families cope with the difficult situation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fee reductions were ordered by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, said Anek Laothamatas, Minister of the Higher Education Science Research and Innovation.

The government will also provide subsidies to the universities and schools where needed.

Reduced fees and subsidies, approved by the cabinet on July 13, would ease the financial burden for many parents, he said.

The measure is expected to come as a reprieve for 1.7 university students nationwide.

For state-run universities, the tuition fee discounts will be implemented in three steps: a reduction of 50% for the first 50,000 baht, 30% for the next 50,000 baht and 10% for 100,001 baht or more.

Mr Anek said the government will subsidise 60% of the reductions and the rest will be covered by the universities.

For privately-run universities, the state will pay 5,000 baht toward a student's tuition fee, in addition to issuing to a directive for the universities to cut back on fees and allow students to pay in instalments.

Privately-run universities also will be asked to register education funds for students and lend equipment to students for online learning. A cut in dormitory rents is also an option.

The minister said the measure will be launched in the new term which commences early next month.

Meanwhile, Gen Prayut said the assistance also extends to schools under the Education Ministry and will cover all student groups including the disabled and the underprivileged.

The measure, similar to that offered to the universities, has yet to be fleshed out. Details will be hammered out at next week's cabinet meeting.

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