Education minister says fee hike by LUMS 'unacceptable'

03:37 PM | 8 May, 2020
Education minister says fee hike by LUMS 'unacceptable'

ISLAMABAD – Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said on Friday that massive fee hike by the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) is unacceptable.

In a couple of tweets, the minister said: “I have seen reports that LUMS has increased its fee by 41%. If true, this is unacceptable”.

He further said the varsity is a premier educational institution of the country, adding that it “needs to take lead in giving relief to students rather than burdening them and their parents even further”.

Urging the management to reconsider the matter, Mahmood said that the Supreme Court has “given a formula for annual 5 to 8% increase in school fees. Universities may have different compulsions and may need a somewhat greater increase but a sudden 41% increase by LUMS is beyond comprehension”.

The management of the university drew severe criticism by social media users and its students after it announced fee hike despite ongoing coronavirus crisis that has affected every segment of society financially.

However, LUMS Vice-Chancellor Arshad Ahmad said that the decision to increase the fees was taken before the COVID-19 outbreak.

 “LUMS fees for 2020 were determined before COVID-19 that is entirely consistent with prior years and took into account extraordinary increases in inflation, energy costs and currency devaluation,” the VC said in a statement.

Ahmad further said that the increase for the 2020 was 13%, which will be monitored to determine the next fee card, Express Tribune reported.

“Furthermore, previously, a per semester blanket fee was being charged for students taking between 12 to 20 credit hours,” he added.

The VC said the current fee has been calculated on a per credit hour basis which will increase the semester fee for some and decrease for others.

“The important point is that the total fee to meet graduation requirements does not change as a result of the shift to a per credit hour basis. One of the reasons for the shift is to discourage students from taking course overloads which negatively impacts their

 “As a not-for-profit university, gifts from donors, trustees, etc. helps to subsidize one out of three students,” he added.