Categories: General

Professional colleges decide to collect fees up front at the time of admission.


HYDERABAD: The fee reimbursement scheme might prove to be a burden for students of professional colleges from the next academic year starting August. A majority of the colleges in the state have decided to collect fees right at the time of admission without waiting for the state government to reimburse the tuition fee in the 2011-12 academic year.

Until this academic year (2010-11) which is set to end in May, students could take admissions in professional and regular colleges without paying any fee with the government reimbursing the tuition fee to colleges directly.

The new decision of college managements comes in the light of the government failing to release funds under the scheme on time in the last three years of the scheme being launched. However, observers note that colleges are only trying to arm-twist the government, and may not strictly implement the decision given that the fee reimbursement scheme is their key source of revenue. “Not many students would take admission if they have to pay up a fee. So colleges stand to lose if they have no students as they will have no access to the fee reimbursement revenue,” said an observer.

Colleges said that even at the fag-end of the academic year 2010-11, about 50 per cent of the funds under the scheme have not reached them. “A majority of the colleges have agreed to direct payment policy. We have to get it approved at a general body meeting soon,” said Ramesh Nimmatoori, president, Private Engineering and Professional College Managements Association.

Meanwhile, student organisations said that the issue is between the college managements and the state government and the students should not be made to suffer. “The reimbursement scheme has been designed to help students from poor economic backgrounds. If the colleges force them to pay up the fee right at the beginning of the academic year, many of the students from week socio-economic backgrounds might not take admissions,” said R Kishnaiah, president, Andhra Pradesh Backward Classes Welfare Organisation. The number of students taking admission in professional colleges in the state had increased by 30 per cent since the time the scheme was introduced, he pointed out. The number of economically backward class (EBC) students in such colleges has also increased by 25 per cent during the time, officials confirmed.

The state government officials are, however, suspicious about the new decision of the colleges. “Last year a High Court ruling had prevented colleges from taking fees directly from students. They should abide by the rules of the scheme or action will be taken against them,” said an official from the higher education department.

The college managements, however, quoted a Supreme Court order that stated that either the government should pay up the fee arrears on time or allow colleges to charge students directly. “We have the court order in our favour,” Nimmatoori said.

Source : TOI

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