Increase in varsity fees puts future of students at stake

ISLAMABAD, July 9: Semi government and privately run universities in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad have increased their admission, registration, semester, hostel and tuition fees immensely, putting the future of students belonging to middle class at stake.

The Bahria University increased its semester fee for bachelor and masters programme up to Rs 20,000 while the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) increased its fee to Rs 25,000.

The IIUI increased its per semester fee for the bachelors programme from Rs 25,000 to Rs 52,000 and the masters programme fee from Rs 35,000 to Rs 60,000.

The administrations at COMSATS and the Muhammad Ali Jinnah University have also increased per semester fees to Rs 8,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively.

Sources in the administration of varsities reported that these decisions were taken to meet the universities' financial expenditure, which they said, was constantly increasing.

Students living in both the cities termed the increase in fees unjust and illogical. "Everyone has the right to education but in our country this right is not given to every community, as the lack of resources and exorbitant fees prevent many students from perusing education," said Nida Yasir, a student of IIUI.

Another student Adeel Arshad said that numerous the universities exist in both the cities, but they remain inaccessible to poorer communities. Government employee Raja Yasir said he couldn't provide university education to his children, as he had a family of five with a monthly income of Rs 15,000.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on July 4 2006 last year observed that the country's education system was in complete disarray, particularly since it was handed over to the private sector, which only valued its own commercial interests.

Students demanded that President General Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Attaur Rehman take notice of the issue immediately. daily times

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