[photopress:MBA_China_students.jpg,full,alignright]The Ministry of Education has ordered all universities to stabilize the price of meals served in their canteens. Recently there have been price rises. The average price of a dish a university canteen in Beijing, Wuhan and Guangzhou has increased by RMB0.1 (1.3 cents) to RMB1 (13 cents).
Seeking cheaper meals some students from Beijing University are choosing to dine on campus at the neighboring Tsinghua University — it is currently serving cheaper meals.
The cost of keeping the canteen meal prices down will be borne by the universities and local governments, which have been told to increase subsidies to higher education institutions.
Ministry spokesman Wang Xuming said, ‘Universities and colleges across the country must stabilize canteen food prices, adjust the type of food available without compromising nutritional value and ensure the supply of low-price food.
‘College canteens should reduce waste and cost.’ He warned college officials not to treat the situation as ‘a petty issue of food and drink’. e said, ‘It is very important for universities to budget carefully at this time.’
Wu Lan, director of the Beijing universities joint food purchasing center, commented to the Beijing News, ‘Although most universities in Beijing purchase food together in bulk which guarantees a low price, the overall market price has risen sharply and even universities that jointly purchase food in wholesale cannot escape the surging price.’
So why are the students in our illustration looking so happy? Cornell Summer College has launched a pilot program that brings Chinese high school students to campus to earn credit. This is a group sharing a meal . . . at Cornell.