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Students take Islamia College to court over fee increase

Students take Islamia College to court over fee increase

PESHAWAR: Two students of the Islamia College University Peshawar have moved the Peshawar High Court against the administration’s decision to increase fee of different classes by 10 per cent insisting the move violates its agreement made with students in 2017.

Mohammad Nauman and Mohammad Ijaz filed a joint petition requesting the court to stop the university’s administration, syndicate and academic council from increasing fee.

They also sought orders for the government to keep the seats for open merit and self-finance categories in equal proportion claiming that currently, seats on a self-finance basis are more than those of open merit.

Petition also seeks order for equal seats in open merit, self-finance categories

The respondents in the petition are the Islamia College University Peshawar through its registrar, vice-chancellor of the university, its academic council and syndicate.

The petition filed through senior lawyer Abdul Lateef Afridi said the students of the university had begun a protest and staged a sit-in on Dec 12, 2017, against increase in the fee of the university and college.

It said the protest forced the administration to hold negotiations with students, while a committee consisting of professors and chairmen of different departments was formed for the purpose on Dec 8, 2017.

The petitioners claimed that the deliberations led to an agreement on the matter as the committee accepted all genuine demands of the students on Dec 18, 2017.

They added that the committee agreed that the fee won’t be increased for three years, while the administration would be free to increase fee thereafter.

The petitioners contended that the treasurer of the university had made a request earlier in the year for 10 per cent annual increase in tuition fee for FA/FSc, BS, MA/MSc, MA, MPhil and PhD programmes, which was made part of agenda to be taken up by the academic council.

They said the council, which held its ninth meeting on Apr 24, 2019, with the vice-chancellor in the chair, accepted that proposal and sent it to the syndicate for final approval.

The petitioners said prior to approval by the syndicate, the university included and printed the proposed fee structure in the 2019-20 prospectus in a clear violation of that agreement.

They also said at the time of the said sit-in, the university had an unequal number of students enrolled in the pre-medical and pre-engineering programmes on open merit and self-finance scheme.

The petitioners said pre-medical and pre-engineering programmes had three sections each with 50 students, while there were 250 students each in both categories of classes.

They added that the students wanted the number of students enrolled on the open merit and self–finance basis to be equal but the 2019-20 prospectus had showed the unequal number of seats in the two categories.

The petitioners contended that the agreement between the representatives of students and administration was meant to provide opportunities of education to students belonging to middle class but it had been violated by the administration.

They feared that the breach of that agreement could force students to agitate yet again.

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2019

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