LUMS has come under criticism again, as students and alumni took to social media after a 41% fee hike was announced. However, according to the LUMS vice-chancellor, the decision was taken before the Covid-19 outbreak in the country. A student, on the condition of anonymity, shared an open letter to the institution with ProperGaanda.
The official statement by LUMS can be read here.
There is nothing but chaos on social media ever since the announcement of the fee hike; students are trending hashtags, news articles are being published and whatnot. If you try to think about it, a sudden 40 percent increase is absurd, our dear administration. I thought LUMS was a not-for-profit institution, and claimed to care about the mental health of students? At a time of such uncertainty, such extreme financial crisis, you decide to increase the fee? That too, without any warning? I wonder, dear LUMS, where did all that ‘consideration’ go.
Just now, I received a call from my father, asking me in a worried tone: “Beta, ye 40 percent increase kya hai?”, and my father is the one who pays your institution, thinking it is the best, most cooperative university out there.
I struggled to answer him, only for him to sigh in response. Do you have any idea how difficult it was for me to digest his response and his disappointment? No, you would not know, nor care. He is an old man who has worked all his life to provide for us, and is spending his savings to educate me at LUMS, but how does that affect you even the slightest, right?
What’s more, you issued an ‘official statement’, citing one of your reasons to increase the fee is to discourage students from overworking themselves. Tell me, was this the only solution you came up with? I dare say, is that not a personal matter of the student, whether they can manage increased workload or not?
It seems to me as if there was a bigger reason, and instead of addressing that, you issued a bland statement without any explanation, making it seem as if you are not the least bit concerned or willing to budge.
Plus, as soon as I heard of it, my hopes and dreams of doing a double major, or a minor in a subject that I love were taken away. And it is not just me, there are numerous more students. We came here to learn, now we must compromise on that to avoid adding more digits to our fee vouchers.
This worries me even more, my dear LUMS, as now not only do I have to worry about staying alive in this pandemic, but also about how I am going to fill your pockets without emptying that of my parents’.
I really hope you take this decision back, because you should know, with the utmost respect, we will not back down. We will fight.
An Anxious Student
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