Punjab University is going to increase the registration and examination fee by 10 percent for external candidates. This was done to deal with the financial strain caused by a cut in the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) funding by the government in the annual budget.
University sources have confirmed that large public sector varsities are mulling a fee hike after the reduction in HEC funding.
On the other hand, thousands of private candidates who rely on self-studies and opt for taking examinations privately due to financial issues, worry that the increased fee will add insult to injury.
The decision is even more controversial because PU had recently announced a fee reduction for regular students.
The varsity is one of the biggest in Punjab, enrolling thousands of students in bachelor and master programs every year.
Tens of hundreds of others who fail to take admission in the varsity register as private candidates to continue their education. This includes a large number of female students from underprivileged and remote areas.
The university’s PRO has defended the decision in his statement saying:
The university is in a financial crisis as it announced relaxation for its regular students and now we have to maintain our academic services, so the private candidates have to give sacrifice. Beside the increase in the fee, overtime, lunch and other allowances for teachers during exams from the university funds may be stopped.
Students, on the other hand, are troubled with increment in fee, terming it an anti-education move.