ISLAMABAD: Dozens of students from H-8 Postgraduate Boys College on Tuesday protested against Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) for imposing a ‘degree fee’ of over Rs3,000, blocking the road outside the college for two hours.
Through a notification, QAU has demanded that each student pay Rs3,479 as degree fee for the 2012-14 to 2014-16 sessions.
Students blocked Ashfaq Ahmed Road in front of the college for nearly two hours on Tuesday afternoon and raised slogans against what they termed were ‘unfair’ demands of the degree fee.
They said that the university currently charges each student Rs2,000 in registration fees and Rs2,500 as examination fee. A further Rs2,000 is charged as sports fees.
The students claimed that they did not have to pay any degree fee when their colleges were affiliated with Punjab University prior to devolution under the 18th Amendment.
“The degree fee was demanded abruptly and poor students are unable to pay it. This would put poor students at a disadvantage,” said Nauman Jadoon, a representative of the students.
“The university is depriving poor students of higher education by charging high fees,” he added.
Later on, the students dispersed after getting assurances from the superintendent of police and the college administration that the issue will be taken up with the QAU vice chancellor.
Meanwhile, QAU Examination Controller Sardar Babar said the varsity has already agreed to students’ demand that the fee only be collected from students that clear the exams.
“Fees would be collected from the students who want their degrees, but it cannot be abolished,” he added.
He said the university gets watermarked degrees printed from a government press in Karachi, which is credible but expensive. Babar added that the cost of printing a degree was Rs3,700, while it was charging only Rs3,400 from students.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2017.