Without prior contact with students, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) officially raised its semester fee by a huge 41 percent.
Reports suggest the university has theoretically manipulated the measurement of the credit hour (CH) to raise the fee by up to Rs. 140,000.
As per the info, LUMS had a policy of charging the same fee for students who opted for either 12 CH or 20 CH, encouraging students to go for an average of 16 CH.
The management recently announced a policy change that they claim would only make a ‘small and marginal’ difference to the final bill.
The university said because of inflation it raised the fee by 13 percent per hour of credit. However, the estimate reveals that the cost for the next semester has been raised by 41.7 percent.
Here is a description and contrast of the old credit hours of LUMS vs. new: the previous 20 Credit Hours charge was Rs. 340,200, divided by Rs. 17,010 equals 20.
With a rise of 13 percent, for each CH it becomes Rs. 19,221.3. Hence, when multiplied by 20, the updated fee will be Rs. 384,426.
|Old Fee (total)||Old CH Fee||CH fee After a 13% increase||Total Fee (should be)|
The latest price promoted by LUMS, however, is Rs. 482,000 for 20 Credit Hours. What the varsity did was to raise tuition fees in such a way that it would affect most students while benefiting a limited number of senior citizens.
Going against its own strategy (because it fits the kitty), LUMS management divided the total fee amount (Rs. 340,200) by 12, rather than 20, despite being well aware that it has a majority of students enrolled in over 16 credit hours or more on average.
What this means is that LUMS uses the lower credit hour cap to measure a value for each credit hour, which would be a higher amount, and turn a heavy semester fee into an overall sum.
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A handful of senior students who will take 12 Credit Hours in their last semester will be the only winners for this fee structure.
Students from LUMS and alumni bodies have protested the ‘barbaric’ fee hike, with some saying the varsity is no longer accessible for them.
What irks them most is that the unjustified increase in fees happened at a period of economic crisis when other universities around the world are contemplating a downward revision.
LUMS issues statement for an increase in fee
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 increase determined for 2020 was 13% which we will monitor in determining the next fee card. Furthermore, previously, a per semester blanket fee was being charged for students taking between 12 to 20 credit hours.
This fee is now calculated on a per credit hour basis which will increase the semester fees for some and decrease it 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 learning. LUMS fees cover a fraction of the total costs. As a not-for-profit university, gifts from donors, trustees, etc. helps to subsidize one out of three students.