Posted October. 06, 2009 08:01,
Twelve private universities have lost more than half of their investments in stocks and financial derivatives, with many other schools believed to have lost big amid the global financial crisis.
The Education, Science and Technology Ministry submitted a report yesterday to Rep. Kwon Young-ghil of the progressive Democratic Labor Party saying Ajou University lost last year 10.3 billion won (8.78 million U.S. dollars) from its investment in stocks and beneficiary certificates.
ChungAng University and Pusan University of Foreign Studies each also lost more than six billion won (5.12 million U.S. dollars) last year in stocks and derivatives. Catholic University of Daegu, Sunmoon University, Dongseo University, and Seoul Theological University each lost over 1 billion won (852.88 million U.S. dollars).
In the past, private universities had been banned from making aggressive investment to ensure educational stability. A 2007 revision of accounting rules for such schools, however, allowed them to put up to half of their money reserves into securities investment funds or derivative products.
To see if the investments were made properly, the ministry instructed private universities to report losses of 50 percent or more. Since universities must report categories in which they lost 50 percent or more of their investments, however, it is considered impossible to know exactly how much money they lost.