North Korea Shuts Down Universities for 10 Months Students will be sent to work on building projects: report By Tim Karan, Newser Staff Posted Jun 29, 2011 5:32 PM CDT 5 comments Comments North Korean universities have been shut down until next April, says the Telegraph. (Getty Images) (Newser) – School's out in North Korea, but not just for summer. Universities will be shut down until next April and students will be sent to work on construction projects in major cities, reports the Telegraph. Only those close to graduating and foreign students will be allowed to continue classes. The rest will be dispersed to work on renovation projects and repair typhoon damage across the country, which is preparing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of founder Kim Il-sung next year, along with the 70th birthday of Kim Jong-Il. Some believe there's another reason students are being shipped away now, ahead of an expected transfer of power to Kim Jong-Un. North Korea reportedly purchased tear gas and batons from China in anticipation of riots. "The leadership has seen the 'Jasmine Revolution' in Africa and it is very frightened that the same thing could happen in North Korea," says a Japanese professor. "They fear it could start in the universities."