Students may soon have to pay 10% more fees for admission to undergraduate courses across streams, as the Mumbai university mulls a hike for both aided and unaided courses this year.
The university’s seven-member fee revision committee recommended increasing the fees in a phased manner during a May 5 meeting — 10% this year, 5% in 2016-17 and another 5% in 2017-18.
Eight lakh undergraduate students will be affected by the move, a decision on which will be taken in 15 days, after the proposal is verified by the departments concerned. Officials said the hike will most likely come into effect as it was necessary for the university.
While the proposal has an in-principle nod, the university is yet to publish a circular. Members of the management council, however, were not happy with the way the recommendations were made to them during a meeting last Friday.
“The fee revision committee’s proposal was not a part of the meeting’s agenda that was given to us. How does the university expect us to accept any decision they take without asking questions?” a management council member said.
Another member, Mahadev Jagtap, said of the seven members of the committee, only three had supported the hike. “A blanket hike in fees is a grave matter. Many colleges don’t have the proper infrastructure to charge higher fees. There is no need for this arbitrary hike,” he said.
According to rules, the academic council must scrutinise any revision made to the fees, but its members said the proposal had not come up during their meeting on Friday.
Last year, a 25% hike in fees for unaided courses was proposed. But after opposition from many members, the university announced an audit of colleges and said the fees will be hiked on the basis of this audit.
“The promise of conducting an audit has not been kept, the university is putting a financial burden on the students for bare-minimum facilities”, Jagtap said.
University officials, however, said the hike in fees is necessary to pay the salaries of teachers, among other things.
“The seventh pay commission is around the corner, but many colleges are yet to pay teachers according to the 6th pay commission. The cost of everything has gone up and colleges are in dire need of a hike. We are still working out the details,” MA Khan, registrar of the university said.