Tuesday, August 9, 2011

More room(s) for Seoul students

City officials have decided to recycle part of their real estate for students : Seoul will build residences with a focus on sites near universities (within a 1 km radius), preferably stretching over 700 square meters. 20,000 units are planned.

Typically, 142 rooms will be created at Yonsei University's North Gate, facing existing Yeonhui-dong facilities. Note that Yonsei itself has recently renovated parts of its residences and launched new projects, including a cancer treatment center for its Severance Hospital.

A great portion of the 'one-room' market is provided by individuals who sometimes split their own homes into tiny cells, cramming as many as possible. Raising the standards is good for the image of a country where, as we saw earlier, the number of Foreign students has been multiplied by 30 over the past decade.

Speaking of education and budget issues : scheduled for August 24, the 'free meal' referendum is, as expected (see "
Seoul free school lunch referendum (continued)"), getting trickier by the day :
- polls show a large majority against the populist "free for all" system, but overruling the council vote would result in a technical delay that makes the choice less clear : one one hand, free lunches for all elementary school students from 2011 and all middle school students from 2012 (according to the council vote), and on the other, a system focused on low revenue households to be implemented step-by-step by 2014.
- the recent tragic summer floods (see "
Climate Change in Korea") logically caught all the spotlights and put more pressure on the administration

To be continued...

Seoul Village 2011
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