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Student Success-Stepping Stone Scholarship 1: 100,000 won to Everyone

Background and Progress of Demanding Partial Tuition Return

In the first semester of 2020, the calls for the return of tuition fees grew as students’ rights to study didn’t get fully guaranteed due to the rapidly changing situation. In response, the student council, Iruri, mentioned the need for special scholarships and continuously demanded that scholarships be given to overcome coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The school board notified the students that the overall scholarship is actually larger than other schools, and that support and investment for students continues, including the payment of the student success - stepping stone scholarship to overcome COVID-19, the establishment of a class system for flexible online-offline lectures, and the Edu Plus project. In response, Iruri once again stressed the need for a special scholarship, citing the need for support that all students can feel, citing difficulties in learning and living in the classroom environment and chaotic situation that have yet to stabilize.

COVID-19 Special Scholarship to Everyone

Details of the Student Success-Stepping Stone Scholarship 1 (Iruri Instagram)

After a tight tug of war between the school board and the student council, the final agreement was reached at a meeting in late September to pay 100,000 won as a kind of “COVID-19 Special Scholarship” to all undergraduates except for full scholarship students enrolled in the first semester of 2020. The head of the budget planning team said, “In the payment of the COVID-19 special scholarship, the scholarship means a lot to share the pain of the students in the COVID-19 crisis, as mentioned by the student council,” and added, “I hope we can overcome the crisis together.” On October 7th, details of the COVID-19 Special Scholarship were finalized. In the tentatively named COVID-19 Special Scholarship, it was finally officially named as the “Student Success-Stepping Stone Scholarship 1”, and the amount set at 100,000 won per student. The number of eligible students for the payment is 14,530 students, excluding those who receive full scholarships (4,395), out of 18,925 undergraduate students in the first semester. The total budget is 1,453 million won. The payment was deposited into the student’s own accounts registered with GLS.

Tuition Return or Cheering Scholarship?

Many of the students thought the scholarship is in the form of a “refund for tuition” to guarantee their right to study, but the school has taken a different stance. The school said that the school board and student representatives should discuss how to overcome the COVID-19 crisis rather than creating public opinion on the partial refund of tuition fees. In other words, they are not looking at this as a partial refund of tuition fees. The demand for the return of tuition fees has grown for the purpose of guaranteeing the right to study online without using school facilities, and the form of scholarships for cheering purposes may seem to be an avoidance of responsibility on the part of the school from the students’ point of view. The school should listen to these demands and try to truly communicate with its classmates, rather than focusing on calming down students’ public opinions.

고수연  suyunkoh@skku.edu

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