110,000 college students can’t find dorms in Seoul
By Alexander Ahn
A huge influx of college students from provincial areas will result in 110,000 of them wandering the streets of Seoul searching for a place to live according to the Korea Student Aid Foundation (KOSAF).
Space in Seoul university dormitories is so scarce that they only have room for 32,000 ofthe 140,000 expected provincial students.
In addition, cheap rented rooms, or goshiwon (small rooms around five square meters that students often live in for a few months solely to prepare for exams) and boarding houses are also quickly filling up to the point that fundamental residential solutions for the students are being prepared.
With the upcoming presidential election, the opposition parties are expected to nominate a living solution plan as a main component of their platform.
The Student Aid Foundation recently announced construction plans for a new student general welfare center. As few as 100 to as many as 2,000 people from Korea’s country provinces will be able to move into the facility. The center will even be equipped with mentoringprograms and a career center.
Last month, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology announced its own plan to support the development of boarding facilities, and each of Seoul’s colleges are expected to plan an urban housing construction expansion for their own dormitories.
As Seoul works hard to accommodate the tens of thousands of newly arriving students in the coming academic year, it still immediately needs 16,500 more dorm rooms for 33,000 homeless students.