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Sting of inflation hits campuses (3)

(Global Times)

14:18, September 14, 2011

Austere life

Bai Mi, a second-year graduate student at Nanjing University, told the Global Times that as someone from an underdeveloped area in the Western region of China, she felt quite satisfied with the canteens in her university.

“The prices of food in our canteens have stayed the same during the last two years,” she said. “Each meal costs 4 to 7 yuan, including the meat dishes.”

The daily cost of food is about 15 yuan, or 450 yuan a month. Every graduate student in the university receives a 500-yuan subsidy every month, with the subsidy for doctoral candidates doubled to 1,000 yuan per month, she said.

“As long as you always lead a thrifty life, it’s not hard to manage,” she said.

Yin Sanhong, the manager of the Nanjing University’s logistics department, admitted that Nanjing University canteens were feeling acute pressures regarding food prices.

“We are trying our best to maintain the quality of food while keeping the same price,” he said, adding that they ran a deficit of 1.81 million yuan in the first half of this year.

“This means we have to cut from other areas in the university – that or raise prices,” he added.

The stability of food prices in college canteens is related to the overall stability of society to some degree, said Wang Hongcai, an education professor at Xiamen University in Fujian Province.

“Stable living expenses allow students to concentrate on their studies, rather than constantly worrying about costs and money,” he told the Global Times. “This price inequality could exacerbate the gap between rich and poor, which is already an issue on many campuses.”

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