In a recurring move by the University, a whopping twelve-fold fee hike for the English PhD programme this time has left both students and teachers enraged and aghast.
The University of Delhi’s English Department recently announced the increased fees for their PhD programme. The fee has escalated from Rs. 1,932 last year to Rs. 23,968 currently, causing shocked reactions from several groups of teachers and students.
There have been stern critics against the university’s move, with teacher and student organisations blaming the new National Education Policy as a tool to ‘privatise’ and ‘commercialise’ education.
Earlier implementation of NEP led to a 400% fee hike in Allahabad University and 100% in BHU, and the same has now happened in Delhi University.
Anjali, DU Secretary of the All India Students’ Association (AISA)
The Democratic Teachers’ Front formally protested against the fee hike via a letter addressed to Vice Chancellor Yogesh Singh.
Comparisons of such fee hikes are also being done with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) after the institution borrowed from the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA).
This has led the DU wing of the All India Students’ Association to call for investigations into the role of HEFA behind student fee hikes.
The role of HEFA has to be examined, in which government grants for universities are being replaced by loans, which also have the component of interest. Delhi University has already procured loans worth Rs. 1800 crore, which will be extracted along with interest from student’s pockets. This is a strategic attempt by both the government and the administration to push out the marginalized sections (dalits, adivasis, women, and gender minorities) out of education.
Anjali on AISA’s stance on HEFA.
The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) also criticised the fee hike, stating that it would hinder ‘access to quality education.’ They also declared that this fee hike is a ‘blatant attack on publicly funded institutions’ and ‘exacerbates financial stress on students and their families.’ Lastly, they also claim that the administration did not allow the PhD students enough time to submit their fees and were asked to pay the amount through a ‘one-day deadline’.
Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad also opposed the increase in fees and highlighted the ‘lack of representation’ in central universities.
Despite such protests and opposition, the University administration is yet to make a formal public comment regarding such massive developments.
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