Studying in St. Stephen’s College is going to get more expensive in the upcoming academic session. The college has decided to raise its fee by more than 20%.
“We are living in an inflationary age. The prices of all commodities have increased hugely in the past one year. Increasing the fee is the only way to keep up,” said Valson Thampu, principal, St. Stephen's College.
Earlier, the tuition fee for humanities students was around R14,000.
This has now been increased to R18,500 this year. The fee for science courses too has been hiked, by almost R4,500 and now stands at R20,000.
The college had earlier, during the unveiling of the Vision Document 2050, indicated that the fee structure would undergo a revision in order to provide students with the best possible infrastructure. The last fee hike happened in 2009. “We do not want to tax the parents too much, but this is the bare minimum which we were forced to increase,” Thampu added.
The fee structure in other colleges is quite low as compared to St Stephen’s. At Hindu College, the tuition fee lies between R6,000 and R8,000. At Miranda House, the fee is between R7,000 and R10,000, the highest being for Bachelor’s of Elementary Education — R12,000. Kirori Mal College too charges around R8,000 for every course.
Facilities to be improved
While a fee hike may distress students and their parents, the improved facilities are certainly going to benefit the students.
The university has granted the college R2.5 crore for a new science block, work on which is already on.
Since long, students had been complaining about the lack of proper laboratories in the college.
“The science block was called the ‘shady block’. I hope after the new block comes up, the facilities will improve,” said a student, requesting anonymity.
The joint common room and the ladies' common room are also set to be renovated.
“We will try and build the best facilities,” Thampu said.
The college cafeteria—immensely popular among college students, outsiders and the alumni—will also undergo changes. “We will lay a new floor and improve the kitchen. It will become more hygienic,” Thampu said.
The buck does not stop here
According to the college principal, increasing the fee was the only way to keep up with the ‘inflationary age’
Admission process starts
The application forms for St Stephen's College went on sale from Wednesday. On the first day, more than 3,000 forms were sold. Last year, this number was 2,200. The last date of submission of forms is June 13.
New tuition fee
R18,500 increase of nearly R4,500
R20,000, hike of about R4,500
Increased from R27,500 to around R32,500