Delhi University recently faced severe backlash for its decision to raise the fee for the English PhD program by a staggering 1,200%. This move has sparked widespread criticism from students, faculty, and the Student Federation of India (SFI) against the PhD fee hike.
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The Unprecedented Fee Hike
The English PhD program’s fee at Delhi University soared from ₹1,932 to ₹23,968, creating a significant disparity compared to the ₹4,400 fee for other PhD courses across departments. This dramatic increase has left many questioning the rationale behind it.
SFI’s Vigorous Opposition
The SFI, a prominent student body at the university, opposes the fee hike. In their official statement, they describe it as an assault on funded educational institutions. They argue that such fee hikes restrict students’ opportunities and impose undue financial stress on both students and their families.
Adding to the controversy, the university administration imposed a stringent one-day deadline for fee payment, intensifying the burden on students. The combination of exorbitant fees and an inflexible payment window has fueled dissatisfaction among the academic community.
Abha Dev Habib, an assistant professor of Physics at Miranda House, took to Facebook to express her strong disapproval of the fee hike. She labelled the increase as “unacceptable and unfortunate,” emphasising its unexplained nature. She highlights that this fee hike threatens diversity and impacts students’ academic pursuits.
Scholarships and Concessions
While scholarships and concessions can reduce the financial strain on some students, they cannot serve as a substitute for affordable fees accessible to all. The astronomical fee hike, in the eyes of many, needs a change. They argue that this assault on accessibility to education and diversity contradicts the principles enshrined in the Constitution of India.
The Quest for Equity
The fee hike has ignited a fervent quest for equity in higher education. Students should seek a level playing field.
The Road Ahead
As the uproar against the fee hike grows, it remains a question of how the university administration will respond. Calls for a rollback are becoming more resounding. This situation underscores the broader issues of affordability and accessibility that higher education institutions face, not only in India but worldwide.
Delhi University’s English PhD fee hike has touched a nerve among students, faculty, and concerned citizens. The move has raised critical questions about affordability. The struggle for affordable higher education continues, with the hope that this controversy will serve as a catalyst for positive change in the future.