Outdoor Skating Rink Used by 50,000 Skaters in Gwangju in One Month since Opening
The city of Gwangju has announced that the total number of visitors to the outdoor skating rink located outside of Gwangju City Hall at its culture square surpassed the 50,000 mark in the one month period since its opening on December 24th last year.
More than 53,000 visitors stopped by the outdoor skating rink last Friday since the opening of the rink and an average of 3,000 skaters visit the skating rink on weekends with an average of 1,000 citizens visiting the rink on weekdays.
In the midst of the continuous popularity of the ice skating rink, the number of citizens who visit city hall to take advantage of the free bicycles and other exercise activities provided by the city hall has also grown.
The city’s first ice skating rink is in operation from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday through Friday with extended operation hours running from Friday to Sunday to 9:30 p.m.
Free lessons for skating are also offered on every Monday, Thursday and Saturday with the rink scheduled to be opened until February 15th.
Gwangju to Operate ‘China Friendly’ Policy
The city of Gwangju will officially begin its operation of ‘China Friendly’ Policy from this week.
The city will sign a Memorandum of Understanding this Friday at Gwangju City Hall that pledges to establish a ‘China Friendly Support Center’ at Honam University.
The China Friendly Center is a civil complaint resolution center, which will help solve problems and inconveniences experienced by Chinese students studying in Gwangju and multicultural families, as well as Chinese tourists.
The city of Gwangju previously established an integrative plan comprised of 6 strategies and 18 detailed project plans for ‘China Friendly’ policies aimed at transforming Gwangju into a favored city for Chinese students and tourists.
In cooperation with Hunan University in China, the China Friendly Support Center at Honam University, which features a Gongja Academy supported by the Educational Ministry in China, will offer 24 hour phone counseling for Chinese students and emergency assistance for problems with accommodations, food and traffic information.
Meanwhile, the total number of Chinese tourists to Gwangju came in at 57,000 in 2013, a mere 1.4 percent of the nationwide figures. But city officials expect that a series of international events to be staged in the city, such as the Universiade and the opening of the Asian Culture Complex, will result in a surge of Chinese travelers to the city this year.
Opening of Honam KTX to be Postponed to April
Opening of the Honam Express railway or Honam KTX linking Osong of North Chungcheong province and Gwangju Songjeong station will be postponed from the scheduled March to April this year.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said the exact opening date of the much-anticipated Honam KTX would be in early April.
Authorities believe the postponement is due to disagreement over the final destination station and routes from Osong to Songjeong. In particular, there have been disputes over including Seodaejeon station on top of the already existing Daejeon station.
Korea Railroad Corporation previously submitted the operation plan for the 82 train routes of the Honam and Jeolla KTX to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Some 22 percent of these are scheduled to stop at Seodaejeon station.
Dispute over the schedule continues because if Seodaejeon station is included in the route, the total travel time between Seongjeong in Gwangju and Osong will be delayed by 45 minutes.
Tuition Fees for Major Universities in Gwangju and Jeollanamdo to Remain Same or be Reduced
Major universities in Gwangju and Jeollanamdo, including Jeonam National University and Joseon University, have cut or frozen tuition fees for the 2015 academic year.
Jeonam National University held a school tuition screening meeting yesterday at its university headquarters and decided to freeze the tuition fees for the upcoming academic year.
Joseon University, where school tuition fees have either remained the same or been reduced since 2012, also revealed its plan to freeze the tuition fees.
Gwangju University will cut tuition fees by 0.3 percent to minimize burdens on students and parents.
Having cut tuition fees for the students since 2009, Honam University will reduce the figures once again by 0.24 percent while investing 9.5 billion won for school scholarships and educational activities.
Other universities that have cut tuition fees include Mokpo University and Gwangju University of Education.