by Nida Mehraj
SRINAGAR: The Students of the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) demands a fee waiver. They said they are unable to pay a hefty amount due to the lockdown of COVID-19. Students of the second and third semesters registered a protest over the phone and requested authorities to address their grievances.
Mariya Yonis, a 3rd-semester journalism student said, “We have not visited university since April due to the pandemic and the university has not refunded the transportation charges of students for those months. However, in the previous semester, they waived off transport fees for all students.”
For journalism, IUST charges rupees 24000 for each semester in the master’s programme. This is “highest in comparison to other universities. University has given an alternative of partial payment for the ease of students. Further relaxation is being given to underprivileged students under certain policies and schemes.
“Online exams were conducted. No paper or material was used. I believe this time charging fee from students is wrong,” Mariya.
From campus to Srinagar, the university charges rupees 9000 from each semester. For South Kashmir students, the transportation fee is rupees 7000.
“As a concerned student of the university, I think the university should at least refund our transportation fee,” Mariya said.
In order to get the grievances redressed, students have forwarded a written application to the administration block. However, there is no reply so far.
Dr Anisa Jan, Dean of Student at IUST said that “University has not charged any hostel and transport fee for the time they have not availed such services.” She said universities are not pressuring any student to pay fees.
“In extreme cases of any bad situation for any student, the University is even trying to fund those students. And a decision has been taken by the university to refund the transportation and hostel charges to those students who have already paid will be adjusted with the fee of next semester,” she said.