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Chinese universities are instituting tuition increases of as much as 54 percent, Reuters reported.

The universities blame a financial crunch among local governments after three years of disruptive COVID-19 policies and a sluggish economy.

East China University of Science and Technology raised tuition fees by 54 percent, to 7,700 yuan ($1,082) for freshmen majoring in science, engineering and physical education, and by 30 percent in the liberal arts, according to statements issued Sunday.

On Monday, Shanghai Dianji University announced that tuition for science and engineering would increase by 40 percent, while students majoring in management, economics and literature will have to pay 30 percent more compared with a year earlier.