Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) has reportedly increased its semester fee by a massive 41% without prior communication with students.
Reports confirm that the university has technically manipulated the credit hour (CH) calculation to increase its fee by up to Rs. 140,000.
As per details, LUMS had a policy of charging the same fee for students opting for either 12 CH or 20 CH, promoting students to go for 16 CH on average.
Just recently, the management announced a change in policy, which according to them will only make a ‘minimal and negligible’ difference to the final fee.
The university said that it has increased the fee by 13% per credit hour due to inflation. However, the calculation shows the fee has been increased by 41.7% for the next semester.
Here is a breakup and comparison of LUMS’ old credit hours vs. new:
The previous fee for 20 Credit Hours was Rs. 340,200, which divided by 20 equals to Rs. 17,010.
With a 13 percent increment, it becomes Rs. 19,221.3 for each CH. Hence, the revised fee should be Rs. 384,426 when multiplied by 20.
|Old Fee (total)||Old CH Fee||CH fee After a 13% increase||Total Fee (should be)|
However, the new fee announced by LUMS is Rs. 482,000 for 20 Credit Hours. What the varsity did was that it increased tuition fees in a way that it will affect a majority of students while favoring a small number of seniors.
Going against its own policy (because it suits the kitty), the management of LUMS divided the total fee figure (Rs. 340,200) by 12, instead of 20, while being well aware that it has a majority of students enrolled in more than 16 credit hours or more on average.
What this means is that LUMS is using the lower bound of credit hours to calculate a value for each credit hour, which will be a greater amount, and will translate into an overall a hefty semester fee.
The only beneficiaries for this fee structure will be a handful of senior students who will take 12 Credit Hours in their last semester.
LUMS students and alumni bodies have been condemning the ‘barbaric’ fee hike, with some of them saying that the varsity is no longer affordable for them.
What irks them the most is that the unjustified fee surge has come at a time of economic recession when many global universities are considering a downward revision.
LUMS issues statement for increased in fee
LUMS fees for 2020 were determined before COVID-19 that is entirely consistent with prior years and took into account extraordinary increases in inflation, energy costs and currency devaluation.
The increase determined for 2020 was 13% which we will monitor in determining the next fee card. Furthermore, previously, a per semester blanket fee was being charged for students taking between 12 to 20 credit hours.
This fee is now calculated on a per credit hour basis which will increase the semester fees for some and decrease it for others. The important point is that the total fee to meet graduation requirements does not change as a result of the shift to a per credit hour basis.
One of the reasons for the shift is to discourage students from taking course overloads which negatively impacts their learning. LUMS fees cover a fraction of the total costs. As a not-for-profit university, gifts from donors, trustees, etc. helps to subsidize one out of three students.