Students Plea for Fee Concession from Amity University, Mumbai Amidst Pandemic
In general, we expect educational institutions to be sensitive to students' predicaments during a crisis. But not all of them are beyond their commercial vocation.
Amity University, Mumbai is one such institute.
In a conjunctive response to the request for fees from the University, students have requested a concession for the fees of the course and have sent a joint letter to the Vice-Chancellor and the University Registrar.
In addition, they also appealed to the University Grants Commission, the All India Technical Education Council (AICTE), the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and the Ministry of Human Resources and Development.
What does the letter state?
The letter highlights the plight of students in responding to the University's demands for fees in the midst of a major disaster caused by the global pandemic.
They oppose the University's demand for payment of fees ranging from INR 50,000 to 2,000,000 for certain courses – up to the 20th of next month, which also includes a 5 per cent increase. In addition, late payment of fees would be subject to an INR 500 penalty per day of delay.
How did the students react to this?
Many students were skeptical about the official student council of the University, acting favourably on the issue in hand. This is because the student council is set up by the faculty, not elected by the students.
As a result, an informal council was set up. Representatives of 17 departments of the University conducted an extensive online survey to assess the financial situation of students. This exposed some of the "shocking insights" that concern the impact of the pandemic on students' families/guardians across the country.
What are the findings of the survey?
- Almost one-fifth of students ' families have suffered severe losses, while more than one-third of students have admitted to moderate financial losses for their families.
- Less than 10% of students ' families have suffered below average losses.
- One student lamented the closure of his father's company and hoped that a concession would help to tone down the financial blow to the family.
- Many of the students regretted that their parents had their salaries cut by half, while some of the families were in a worse situation.
- Some students have confessed to “no salary” for their parents in over three months.
- Some of the students’ parents who are employed in the government sector had to contribute to the ‘PM Cares’ fund despite pay cuts.
Based on the findings, the students have requisitioned the University to consider their demands.
Their demands include:
- Reducing fees for the coming odd semester by half
- Reducing of hostel fees in the coming odd semester by 20%.
- Postponing of the due date for fee payment to at least the last week of August
- Refund of two months’ (April and May) hostel fees
- Refund of two months’ (April and May) Bus Transport fees
Meanwhile, the students have neither heard from the Vice-chancellor nor the University in this regard. They have emailed another reminder requesting a favourable response.