China has punished eight schools for illegally charging students, the country's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Tuesday.
The schools, including four colleges and four high schools, were found to have arbitrarily and unjustifiably charged students in a variety of areas, such as excess tuition for postgraduates and forcing students to pay for school-supplied drinking water, according to a statement on the NDRC's website.
During the 2010-2011 period, North China Electric Power University and China University of Mining and Technology were found to have collected 1.73 million yuan (267,500 U.S. dollars) and 2.61 million yuan, respectively, from postgraduates whose tuition was supposed to be covered by the state.
The NDRC has ordered the schools to fully refund students and has placed administrative penalties on them, the statement said.
The NDRC reiterated that it is against arbitrary charges in any form.