Amidst the ongoing hunger strike by a few APU students over the mandatory shuttle fees, the vice chancellor communicated their stance over mail to the students.
In the mail, Ms. Indu Prasad reiterated that the university has maintained a transparent policy on fees. The VC also stressed the fact that all the payable fees and scholarships are communicated to the students during the admission process.
The university also stated that when the university incurs any extra costs, it is not directly passed on to the students, and they continue to pay the agreed amount. “We periodically change the fee structure for new, incoming batches.”
Prasad mentioned that the clause regarding the INR 8500/- for the shuttle fees was communicated with the students. “All students accepted these terms before joining,” wrote the VC.
The students have countered the point by stating that the clause carrying the shuttle fees was communicated at the last stage of the admission process. The students also believe that the university asking for fees, without a prior notice on the website is not in line with the UGC guidelines.
Although a universal waiver for the students is seen as a prospect of improbability by the university, the mail carried that the administration is looking into individual cases regarding the fee waiver. The university will gauge the circumstances of the students, and reduce the shuttle fees accordingly.
The Vice Chancellor of APU met the students on February 21, 2023. The mail states that the students physically “intimidated and restrained” the VC and other members of the faculty. However, the protesting students said that when they submitted their memorandum to the VC, she did not pay any heed to the same.
Besides the unruly behaviour, the university has also accused a few students of spreading misinformation on social media platforms and disrupting the peace at the campus.
In the conclusion of the mail, the university warned the protesting students of severe action.
“The students engaged in this will be identified and serious disciplinary action will be taken against them. They will be notified individually about the next steps.” said the mail.