The LUMS fee hike during the current pandemic is terrible
Lahore University of Management Sciences is one of the most prestigious institutions in the country so naturally any misstep from the institution is scrutinized at a higher standard. Something similar has happened again when the University increased fees without consulting with students prior to the increase.
While the entire world is under a pandemic and going through an economic crisis, LUMS made a fee hike by what some are claiming to be as much as 41%
According to students of the institution, they were notified about this change via an email, without much of a time frame given to discuss the matter. Upon inquiring University officials they were given the details of the calculation that was used to initiate the fee hike.
Students are complaining that this LUMS fee hike is being blamed on regular inflation and disregards the severe economic crisis everyone is going through
Many students are asserting that the statistics provided by the institution are misleading and instead of 13% increase, the increase is 41% which means that they will have to pay an extra 1 to 1.5 lac approximately.
Some students have made their own calculations based on the University’s changed policy of charging the fee per credit hour instead of a blanket fee for credit hours up between 12 and 20.
The fact that LUMS official website has removed the pages containing their fee structure, which is usually public knowledge for a “Not-for-Profit University” is leading to more suspicious chatter
A few students have also revealed that the institution has now refused to share the fee structure after the LUMS fee hike was implemented, until the release of the annual fee bill
People termed this specific act by LUMS as inhumane and profit-hungry
They highlighted the manipulation of the institute during this crucial time of the pandemic.
we got an email a few weeks ago from the provost reminding us to write +record our experiences of the pandemic because it will translate into imp archives. let this history bear witness to LUMS’ inhumaneness, hunger for profits & blatant manipulation of these times. #LUMSFeeHike
— wafa (@baewafa2) May 4, 2020
A lot of them reminded LUMS about the adverse effects of the pandemic which was and is affecting their financial statuses
Does LUMS not get that the pandemic’s got most of our financial statuses depreciating, not the other way around for it to be hiking up the already insane fee amounts?#lumsfeehike
— Zarak Asad Khan Swati (@zarakswati) May 4, 2020
Many people will be losing jobs, expecting decline in business, and facing a rise in living cost post Covid19 pandemic. And LUMS has no consideration and is busy filling pockets of the higher ups. #lumsfeehike
— Usman Adil (@Supeen13) May 4, 2020
#lums' admin. has gone mad in this pandemic. In a world where every one is trying to accommodate each other by offering free courses, #lums has decided to increase its FEES considerably. That too when there are no/min. costs for running the campus. #LUMSFeeHike
— Farooq Ahmad (@FarooqA99334844) May 4, 2020
They claim that with the already exorbitant fees that the university charges in comparison to other top institutions of the country it cannot classify itself under the tag of ‘not-for-profit’
They call themselves a ‘Not-For-Profit’ university, can’t even fix their basic facilities, instructors are leaving every day and then have the audacity to increase the fee by 41% in the most sly manner and concealing it within words that the increment is ‘minimal’. #LUMSFeeHike
— Hasan Arshad (@HasanAr21979794) May 4, 2020
NUST's per semester fee: 90,000/-
FC's per semester fee: 130,000/-
LSE's per semester fee: 170,500/-
IBA's per semester fee: 237,5000/-
Old LUMS per semester fee: 380,000/-
New LUMS per semester fee: 482,000/- #LumsFeeHike
— Iman Basit (@ImanBasit) May 4, 2020
Some students even mentioned that the fact they’re unable to avail physical facilities of the university for a whole academic year, their fees should actually have been refunded instead of increased even more
They mentioned that the institute is still charging them for hostels and other on-campus facilities.
We were hoping for a refund because of the abysmal quality of the online classes. And the fact that we were not using any of the facilities, including our dorms, but they are still charging us for those.
Instead, they gave us a 41% fee hike. #LUMSFeeHike
— w (@Witcheeha) May 4, 2020
They claimed that the institute makes false claims regarding the values of diversity and integrity and in reality, they only care about the profit being earned
Shame on LUMS. Shame on their management committee. Shame on this institution which claims to promise "diversity and integrity" and then imposes non-negotiable fee hikes, catering only to the needs of those who can afford this bs. #LUMSFeeHike
— Sheher Bano (@aradicalhoe) May 4, 2020
After all the backlash LUMS finally made an official statement about the exorbitant fee increase
The University’s statement says that this increase was pre-determined before the COVID-19 situation that has led to the economic crisis and they said that the students’ fees don’t cover the entire cost of the University and they’re just a fraction of the total expenditure.
— LUMS (@LifeAtLUMS) May 5, 2020
People are not buying the argument put forth by the University
One would've thought a detailed explanation was needed. Perhaps a longer note directly to the student body. A consultation. Listening to their concerns. Reassuring them. Instead, we got a tweet. This is not about mitigating a PR disaster. It's about your students. Talk to them. https://t.co/XFElUH9aXD
— Ali Raza (@tareekhdaan) May 5, 2020
This is not the time to introduce this change. They need to listen to their students and reconsider this decision. Now is the time to walk the talk about student welfare, and put students and their concerns first. We need to do better. https://t.co/HuI5OrPrNO
— Tania Saeed (@taniasaeed) May 5, 2020
While it is understandable that LUMS may have planned the fee hike before the current pandemic, the University must realize that the current pandemic is an unexpected natural disaster that is afflicting the whole world. In a time like this, people are expecting top organizations to show empathy, kindness and leadership in order to earn peoples’ trust through these uncertain times and not act like heartless corporations that they really may be.
So, what are your thoughts about the issue? Let us know in the comments below.
Cover image via: propakistani.pk / @lifeatLUMS via Twitter