The Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) is under fire again, this time for a fee hike amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
At a time when even banks are looking for ways to provide relief to people, it seems that Pakistan’s top business school has made life difficult for its students.
According to reports, the ‘not-for-profit’ educational institution’s price hike isn’t even the usual percentage, but a whopping 41%.
At a time when the country is already struggling with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, what made LUMS think this was a good idea? The university explained the situation saying the fee hike was predetermined for the academic year 2020.
LUMS says that the fee hike really ‘is entirely consistent with prior years‘ after they ‘took into account extraordinary increases in inflation, energy costs, and currency devaluation‘ due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
— LUMS (@LifeAtLUMS) May 5, 2020
Twitter blasts LUMS’ price hike
According to the denizens of Pakistani Twitter, it looks like LUMS is more trying to maintain its profits amid the upcoming recession. As Twitter slammed the varsity with #LUMSFeeHike, their own student body and staff joined in.
Being a money-sucking university you have nothing but increased stress at this time where the world predicts a recession. Is providing quality education for your kids a sin? Oh but, then theres no quality and no education being provided in this cashleech institution #LUMSFeeHike
— Khushbakht Rashid (@KhushbakhtSays) May 5, 2020
Universities cannot make students whose families are already struggling pay for the financial losses they may be facing. Hoping we get a clear answer from the administration today about this & either there is some miscommunication or this decision is reversed. #LumsFeeHike
— Nida Kirmani (@NidaKirmani) May 5, 2020
Secondly, universities across the world have reduced costs to help parents manage during Covid. Punjab Gov has recommended reducing fees by 20%. Endowment money should be used in this situation to help parents cope with the global econ downturn.
— Dr. Taimur Rahman (@Taimur_Laal) May 5, 2020
LUMS tried to explain how a per semester blanket fee was charged for students taking between 12 to 20 credit hours. That this fee is now calculated on a per credit hour basis ‘which will increase the semester fees for some and decrease it for others‘.
However, students pointed out that the university calculated the value of each credit hour using the maximum limit of credit hours, which is 20 rather than the lower limit of credit hours 12.
Today LUMS has done 2 things of which no student or alumni can be proud of:
1. Increased tuition fee by 40% for the next semester
2. Blatantly misled and lied to the student body to cover up the fee hike (calculations in the picture) (1/n) pic.twitter.com/rRhPDaBCLM
— Bilal (@billiyboo) May 3, 2020
This policy is fine, as long as the price hike is justified and truthfully communicated. Instead, LUMS used the total fee figure and divided that by 12, instead of 20, while being well aware that students enroll in more than 16 credit hours or more on average. (3/n)
— Bilal (@billiyboo) May 3, 2020
Interestingly, many people point out how the university only decided to shift to the new calculation model ‘to discourage students from taking course overloads which negatively impacts their learning‘, in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Absurd Statement. Don't try to fool the masses by saying you're helping the students. The uproar is for a reason. The fee has gone up and as the students were not informed of this when they came to LUMS it isn't affordable for a lot of them.
— Hamza (@HamzaaShahzad) May 5, 2020
As one Netizen pointed out, cutting out your consumer in an upcoming recession is not a great business move. The #LUMSFeeStrike trend drives this point home.
C) This was all done without students consent. Good universities across the world lay out their future fee structure for students at the time of enrollment. The students and their parents did NOT consent to this.
— Sousuke Sagara stan acc (@pakistansagara) May 5, 2020
#LUMSFeeHike should be matched with a #LUMSFeeStrike. They can very well kick out striking workers but they cannot touch students and that's just another imperative their commitment to PR enforces upon them. Collectivize and hold your ground! https://t.co/mR2MKpQ6L1
— Yahya (@__erebus) May 5, 2020
what do you think of this decision to increase fees during this point in time? Let us know in the comments below.