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UGC asks colleges and universities not to insist on immediate payments of annual or semester fees

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has appealed universities and colleges not to insist upon immediate payment of tuition and exam fee in the wake of the financial crisis being encountered by students due to the COVID-19.

Regarding fee payment, Higher education regulator University Grants Commission (UGC) has urged the institutions to consider the matter sympathetically and if viable, offer alternative payment options to students until things return to normal.

“If need be, the schools and colleges can also consider individual requests from students, received if any, concerning payment of fee, during a considerate manner, keeping in sight the present COVID-I9 pandemic,” UGC said.

After receiving grievances from the students and parents about the immediate payment of fees insisted by colleges, the commission sent a letter to vice-chancellors and principals.

The UGC secretary told colleges and universities, “It is requested, that insight of the prevailing extraordinary difficult circumstances, universities and colleges may consider the matter regarding payment of annual/semester fee, tuition fee, examination fee, etc.

Sympathetically and if feasible may consider offering alternative payment options to students till things return to normal”.

The education regulator stated that it has received hundreds of complaints from students regarding fee payment and emphasized that an internal panel is monitoring on such developments.

“We have received grievances from the scholars and fogeys stating that universities and colleges are insisting upon cash of annual/semester tuition fee, examination fee, etc. They have represented that thanks to the financial hardship being faced thanks to the lockdown, they’re not during a position to form payment of fee,” UGC said in its circular.

The technical education regulator All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has already asked the management institutions to not raise the fee in 2020 to alleviate the encumbrance on students and asked technical institutions to aid students in all aspect – academic and
administrative and financial through moderated rules. However, AICTE supervises only professional schools which include approximately 20% of the higher education sector.

“The universities are advised to plan their activities keeping in sight the security and interest of our stakeholders, giving highest priority to the health of all concerned. To address the grievances/concerns of the scholars arising out of the COVID-19 Pandemic situation,” the
UGC circular said.

A university administrator in Delhi NCR stated that there is a cash flow issue at the institution level and various expenses rely on students fees. One of the administrators quoted urging to keep his identity confidential, “The salary goes and therefore the recurring expenses are on besides an escalating cost on creating digital infrastructure. Authorities should look at these issues too.”

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