Education

Odisha's Ravenshaw University Closed Sine Die After Student Protests On Annual Fee Hike

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| May 9 , 2018 , 11:49 IST

In an unconventional response to student protests, the Ravenshaw University authorities in Odisha's Cuttack on Tuesday closed the institution Sine Die (with no opening date) after continuous protests by students against the annual fee hike.  The decision was reportedly taken after talks with the students failed.

The University issued an official statement saying, "In view of the ongoing students' unrest and deteriorating academic atmosphere inside the campus, the University is closed sine die. The boarders of all the Hostels are directed to vacate the hostels by 10:00 AM of 9th May 2018 positively."

The statement added that, "All the pre-approved programmes of the university are postponed until further orders."

Students had been staging a demonstration outside the Vice Chancellor's office against the fee hike, which marked a nearly 80 percent hike in certain courses. The students demanded that the increased fee by rolled back for the year 2018-19.

"Several departments here have increased the fees from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000. This exorbitant hike is an additional burden on us. There are students from poor economic background and they can't afford it" said Ashok Kandi, a student to TOI.

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The students had warned that if the decision to hike the fees was not revoked, they would stage protests for an indefinite period.

According to reports, the fees for the masters in commerce course increased from Rs 25,000 in 2017 to Rs 40,000 in 2018 and the fees for the masters in journalism course increased from Rs 5,000 to Rs 30,000.

The VC defended the hike claiming that the money was needed for the maintenance of the hostels and repair works for the other buildings.

Continuing in his defence, the VC said, "Compared to other institutions, we don't have a fee structure that is unaffordable."