Stop Fee Hike @IBA

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Covid's impact on the economy has led to massive firings, layoffs and downsizing in every sector of the economy. In its aftermath, the one thing all have shared across these variety of experiences is the experience of struggle. Struggle to fit rising budgetary costs in an unemployed and day-by-day more stressed out household, where paycuts and unemployment have become a permanent, threatening fixture.

Rent.
Groceries.
Siblings' expenditures.
Utility bills and transport costs
Tuition fees.
Hospital and caretaking Fees for elders.

Contrary to popular imagination, IBA students do not all belong to rich, privileged families that can bear everything unscathed. Students have come from a variety of working, middle and upper class backgrounds where yes, some voices are coming from immense privilege, but equally or far more are the ones that are remain quieter for their own sake, out of compulsions, trying to just get their degrees and graduate out. From families that live paycheque to paycheque and are one shock away from financial ruin. Families that have loans to repay. That sacrificed everything so their child could go to this university. We come here to get social and economic mobility and secure stable futures for our families, but we're this close to being denied it by this cruel, classist society once again.

This is a plea.

We are not all rich, privileged students who live in big gated communities. Students who worked jobs and taught tuitions till now to afford not just uni fees, but also support their households have run into a crisis. Students are running the risk of dropping out and freezing semesters.

Others are considering (or are in the process of) taking out further predatory loans, selling the final family assets and resorting to other financial tools that are going to make them highly vulnerable to later financial abuse and entrapment, severely damaging their mental health in the process. The situation is not good at all. It has not been good since Covid.

Whatever idea you may have of IBA; perhaps it is a good one of an institution that produces upstanding citizens of sound professional minds, or perhaps it is a negative one for whatever reason. The students at IBA need your help.

To the general public we request this: you all know how critical the last years of education are. How it feels to be so close to one's dreams, and then be denied them. To be this close to a bright, promising future, and then be forced to compromise for another's sake, because financial circumstances could not make sense anymore. Please help us prevent the hardships that many will undoubtedly face if this hike goes ahead by signing this petition and making it trend, the hashtags #ibaFeeHike and #reverseTheHike daily between 8 - 10 pm. A little bit goes a long way, from each of us.

We also kindly request HEC Minister Shafqat Mehmood to look into our situation, see that our planned household budgets are already stretched from accomodating several different things in unemployed and paycut households. We have no more space to make amends for. So many of us are already under water.

Families are selling off their remaining assets which they need for transport and shelter. Individuals are going into lakhs of debt as a result of coronavirus and various other fees and costs. We students cannot take this. We cannot take this. We cannot take this. Kindly take notice of the crushing fee hike which means displacing budgets by over Rs. 20,000 - 25,000 for thousands of students, and immediately put a halt to all exceeding expenditures that have resulted in such increment, and communicate this effectively to the highest levels of government, that university-educated families are weeks and months away from disaster.

Thank you