Fee hike in BITS is outrageous..! 15% rise Per Year
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The latest fee hike in BITS Pilani campuses is barbaric and affects each and every student of this institution. Think about the people who thought they could afford this education initially but by the end of the third year, end up in financial crisis and it takes years for many to cover their loans. However, the facilities provided by the institution have largely remain the same and haven't improved. Over time, many students begin feeling guilty and experience added pressure because of the money that they morally owe to their parents. If there's such a huge hike as this, the authorities should be obligated to provide a valid explanation. A fee hike every few years to a just costs for inflation is okay. But a monstrous 15% rise each year is way over the line.
The tuition fee per semester at BITS Pilani, a private technical university and one of India’s top institutes, was ₹ 50K in 2010. The same fee is ₹ 159K in 2018. The university has consistently increased the fee by 11-20% over the last decade, with the average % increase at 17%. This burden on students increases every year, as opposed to a previous policy (around 2000) when students would pay the same fee every year. The rate also greatly exceeds the average rate of price inflation in India - 8%.
A ‘Vision 2020’ plan is in the works for BITS Pilani to elevate its rankings as a global institute. Infrastructural and strategic expansions are underway at its three campuses in Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad. However, students find the heavy burdens on them unfair as they note no visible benefit to them from these expansions. They are also finding it difficult to engage with authorities on the issue.
This is not a story of rich kids who are complaining about a decrease in pocket money. Students at BITS are like any other students. They pay their fees with money earned by parents who receive inflation-adjusted increments in salary - not fee-hike-adjusted ones. They pay their fees with fixed-amount loans - loans that get exhausted by fees within their second-years, forcing them to take new ones. They seek careers in startups, entrepreneurship, research, social work - should only the children of parents who can afford these sky-high fees have such options?
BITSians are currently writing their semester finals. Yet thousands of them, and across three campuses, and alumni all over the world, are in unison about this call to action. Students are peacefully protesting, demonstrating in auditoriums and on lawns, and demanding answers from the administration - with their fists clenched in discontent with one hand, and their textbooks held in the other.
The questions being raised at BITS are simple, and fundamental. Should private universities be able to treat education as a commodity? Are private universities struggling to sustain themselves? Can the government intervene? Do students deserve a say in where their fees are going?
Join the protest, sign your name. Follow #RollBackBITSFeeHike on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
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