Law colleges in Maharashtra allowed to hike fees after nine years
Fees for both three-year and five-year LLB courses are being revised by the Fee Regulating Authority (FRA).education Updated: Jul 26, 2017 08:46 IST
Private law colleges in Maharashtra have been allowed to hike their fees for the first time in nine years.
Fees for both three-year and five-year LLB courses are being revised by the Fee Regulating Authority (FRA). Some colleges have been allowed to double or even triple the current fees, while in some cases the fees has been reduced.
Till now, the fees at law colleges in the state was being regulated by their respective universities. Many universities including the University of Mumbai (MU) have not changed the fee structure of their affiliated colleges for a long time. MU had last revised the fees in 2008, when it prescribed annual fees in the range of Rs12,000 to Rs13,500 for both three-year and five-year LLB courses. However, after the state categorised law programmes as ‘professional courses’, they were brought under the FRA’s ambit, making them eligible for fee revision.
“The law colleges were brought under the FRA’s control, as the universities don’t have a mechanism to monitor the finances of individual colleges. We have decided to fix the fees of most of the colleges in the range of Rs15,000 to Rs20,000. But the colleges that are offering better infrastructure and good teachers have been permitted to charge even more. We have gone through the audited reports of colleges’ expenditure. They are not supposed to profiteer off students’ fees,” said a member of FRA.
Some colleges had hiked fees without waiting for a nod from the university. In October 2015, HT had reported that the university had directed a law college in Goregaon to refund excess fee charged from students.
The regulator has now fixed the fees of academic year 2016-17, which will be applicable retroactively, as well as fees for 2017-18, which will be applicable for the upcoming academic year.
Colleges have welcomed the long-due revision in fees. “All these years, we were running in huge deficit. Most of the colleges rely on part-time teachers, but we had appointed full time teachers,” said Jyoti Deshmukh, principal, VES College of Law, Chembur.
The students, however, feel that the colleges need to upgrade their infrastructure and quality of education in order to justify the hike. “Many colleges don’t have basic facilities such as library and moot court room. The colleges which overcharged should refund the excess amount,” said Sachin Pawar, president, Student Law Council.