In a move that has no precedence in the recent past, the University of Mumbai (MU) has directed a law college in Goregaon to refund excess fees it collected from students. The college has decided to appeal against the directive.
Two former students of the college, Nimesh Savla and Saurabh Mashelkar, filed a complaint with the university’s Student Grievance Redressal Cell (SGRC) alleging that the college hiked its fee beyond the limits prescribed by the varsity. After conducting an enquiry, SGRC has asked the college to refund the difference to all the students within 15 days.
As per the complainants, the college has been charging more than double against the limit prescribed by the university. They said that annual fee the college is charging for a three-year LLB courses is around 36,0000 and Rs 26,000, against the university’s fee slab of Rs10,000 to Rs13,000. While the college, during SGRC hearings, accepted that it has hiked the fee, it said that the increase is around about 8-10%.
The students said that despite the excessive fee, the college didn’t provide basic facilities on the campus and neither it issued proper receipts for the amount collected. “We decided to take up the matter after some of our colleagues had to leave the college due to high fee,” said Savla.
The college has denied the allegations, asserting that it has one of the best infrastructure in the city. In its defence, the college pointed out that the university has not raised the fee of affiliated colleges since 2009. Speaking to HT, requesting anonymity, a management staffer said, “The university has not been raising the fees for years despite many proposals put forth before its senate. It’s a populist approach, with no regards to inflation or depreciation of the facilities.”
Earlier this year, a delegation of college principals had met governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, who also serves as the chancellor of MU, asking for the revision of fee structure. A few months ago, the university had appointed a panel to review the past fee hike proposals. Calling the varsity directive a “motivated” move, the college management member said the fee stagnation will affect the quality of higher education in the region.