The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has increased fees for all programmes offered in distance mode by 20 per cent.
The hike will be effective across bachelors, masters and diploma courses, in the distance mode, from January next year. It is likely to affect about 30 lakh students across the country enrolled in across different courses.
Across most courses, the fee increase will lead to students paying Rs 1,800-2,000 more per semester. The new fee structure has been uploaded in the university prospectus. For instance, for a three-year Masters of Computer Applications (MCA), the fee was Rs 54,000 for an entire programme, which came to 9,000 per semester. From 2018, the students opting for MCA will have to pay Rs 64,800 for the full programme, Rs 10,800 per semester.
For specialised courses where fees have to be paid yearly, the increase in fee per year is even higher. For the Master of Science (Dietetics and Food Management), a student will have to pay Rs 16,200 from the Rs 13,500 in the 2017 session. The total course fee now stands at Rs 32,400.
Also, for Masters in other subjects, such as English and other social science subjects, the fee increase per semester ranges from Rs 900-1,000. For diploma programmes offered by the university, such as the diploma in library automation and networking, the fee has increased from Rs 15,000 to Rs 18,000.
The university conducts admission twice in a year — January and July. University officials said the decision to increase the fee was taken in the 68th meeting of the academic council in October. “It was decided that the fees will be increased for over 100 courses offered in the distance mode,” said a university official.
According to a source, the fee has been increased to meet the additional cost after the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission. Recently, an office memorandum was sent to all the central universities by the UGC, stating that they will have to find means to generate 30 per cent of the fund increase following the pay revision.
Students said the fee hike will pinch them. Ankit Garg, who wants to pursue a masters course in computer application, said, “Mostly those who cannot pursue a regular course opt for IGNOU. This fee hike will hurt my pockets.”