[photopress:jilin_university.jpg,full,alignright]Officials from the Ministry of Education (MOE) have responded to public concerns over the huge debt owed by Jilin University. It has noted that the financial difficulties faced by some universities could affect their further development and promised to take appropriate measures.
Peoples Daily, March 26, reported that Jilin University in northeast China recently posted a notice on its school website to solicit suggestions from teachers and students to solve the financial difficulty the school is facing.
The school has to pay an annual bank interest of RMB150 to RMB170 million (US$19.4-22 million). That is just the interest. Not repaying the capital.
The university is now RMB3 billion (US$388.2 million) in debt.
Han Jin, chief of the Development Planning Department of the MOE, said that the ministry has noticed financial pressures faced by some universities and is working together with the Ministry of Finance. He believes that solving the financial risk depends not only on strengthened financial management and improvement on the use of loans, but also on greater investment from the government.
According to a report by the 21st Century Business Herald, Jilin University is not the only educational institution facing great financial difficulties.
2006 China Social Trends Analysis and Forecast said by the end of 2005, the total loans of universities from banks were about RMB150 to RMB200 billion (US$19.4 to US$25.8 billion). By the end of 2006, the figure had increased to RMB450 to RMB500 billion (US$58.2 to US$64.7 billion).