LOCAL UNI INCREASE HOSTEL FEES DESPITE BILLIONS IN SURPLUSES FOR PAST 6 YEARS?

Dear Editors,

I refer to the article “Higher operating costs push up university hostel fees” (Channel NewsAsia, Jun 28).

It states that “Staying on campus at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has become costlier for undergraduates as hall rental fees have increased sharply over the past few years.

Since 2009, the cost of staying in a non air-conditioned double room has risen from about S$155 a month per person to about S$245. The monthly rental for an air-conditioned single room has also risen, from S$280 to S$395 over the same period. It costs about S$425 for a similar room at a new hall.”

Hostel fees increased by up to 6.8% p.a.?

As to ““The rates are adjusted by about 4 per cent annually to partially defray the inflationary costs of operating the halls, and ensure that students continue to enjoy quality accommodation that meets their needs”” – “Since 2009, the cost of staying in a non air-conditioned double room has risen from about S$155 a month per person to about S$245” – is an increase of 6.8 per cent per annum.

$236.9m surplus in 2015?

According to NTU’s annual report 2015 – the total surplus for the year (2015) was $236.9 million – an increase of 17.9 per cent from 2014’s $200.9 million.

$1.02b surplus from 2010 to 2015?

Is there really a need to increase hostel fees by as much as 6.8 per cent per annum, when the surplus for 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 was $236.9, $200.9, $148.8, $74.2, $153.8, $207.1 million, respectively?

This works out to a total surplus of $1.02 billion for the last six years.

Leong Sze Hian

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