Published: 16th January 2023
Students of TISS Mumbai, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Tuljapur condemn fee hike
Fee hikes have been a regular feature of TISS admin but have met vehement opposition from the student community, particularly in 2016, students say
Students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in the Hyderabad, Mumbai, Guwahati and Tuljapur campuses have condemned the fee hike for the upcoming academic year of 2023-25. Students claimed that the hike has been imposed across all the campuses, forcing some students to drop out owing to financial constraints.
In a document shared with EdexLive by the Students' Union at TISS, Hyderabad, the tuition fees for several MA programmes such as Women's Studies, Development Studies, Natural Resources and Governance and Rural Development and Governance have been increased from Rs 48,000 (for batch 2022-24) to Rs 68,000 (for batch 2023-25).
The document also showed a corresponding hike in other fees including exam fees, IT charges, library charges, health care fun and so on. Santosh Rasve, a member of the Students' Council at TISS, Hyderabad said, "We, as Students' Council, have condemned this drastic fee hike. We have carried out a signature campaign, protest gathering and general body meeting against this fee hike. Many enrolled students are already dropping out due to financial constraints." He informed EdexLive that the new fee structure was notified on November 17, 2022.
Since then, they have held multiple meetings with the administration."The last meeting was held on January 10 with the deputy director. He told us that this is not within their jurisdiction and he can forward the demands to the respective authorities," Santosh said.
A similar situation persists on other campuses as well. As per details shared by the Students' Union of TISS, Mumbai, a 40 per cent hike has also been imposed on fieldwork charges, student competency fund and lab/studio fund. In a statement, the Progressive Students' Forum (PSF) at TISS stated, "Fee hikes have been a regular feature of TISS admin but have met vehement opposition from the student community particularly in 2016 when the agitation by the student community forced the TISS admin to roll back the fee hike."
The Students' Union had also earlier claimed that the administration's decision to impose a fee hike was reportedly done without any consultation with the elected student body. "At a General Body Meeting dated December 28, 2022, the TISS SU had informed the student body that this decision was taken unilaterally at an unfavourable time when no elected member could be available for the meeting," PSF said in an email.
Pratik, President of the Students' Union in TISS Mumbai told EdexLive that after a meeting with the administration, they were informed that the fee hike was a result of inflation. However, students reiterated that the hike would affect students from the margins. "They told us that the hike comes after seven years. However, they positively agreed to renew the fee structure. This has been forwarded to the fee committee but we haven't received any response yet," Pratik said.
They also suggested other alternatives such as providing students with more scholarships and increasing the amount for student aid (wherein funds are collected from a third party and re-allocated among students). "We also prepared our own proposal with a 10 to 15 per cent fee hike wherever it felt viable. This data will be forwarded to the administration by the end of this week," Pratik said.