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Education

East West University students under pressure from high tuition fees

Sifat Kabir, Senior Newsroom Editor | banglanews24.com
Update: 2024-05-20 21:27:14
East West University students under pressure from high tuition fees

Students and their families have raised concerns as the East West University (EWU) authority creates pressure on its students to pay hefty tuition fees.

A daughter from an ordinary family named Esha (pseudonym), currently studying in the BBA department of EWU located in the capital's Aftabnagar area, hasn't paid her tuition fee of about Tk 70 thousand for the 'Spring 24' semester.

An investigation revealed that not only Esha but many students of EWU failed to deposit their tuition fees because of the large amount.

A student of the genetic engineering department told Banglanews anonymously, "I don't have a father; it has become difficult for me to collect this huge amount of tuition fee. It would be easier for all the students of the university if the authorities had given the facility to pay in installments with a little less tuition fees. I emailed the Registrar sir in this regard but did not get any satisfactory result."

This student also said that the prices of essentials have already increased apart from this vast tuition fee. "Now I can't even leave the university at the end."

Another student of the Genetic Engineering Department alleged: "The authorities said it was a 6-month semester. But our semester runs around 5 months, but collects tuition fee of 6 months. Many students like me have to take stress because of late payment, such as closing the portal, informing the parents through mobile messages. There are regular warnings that they will not be allowed to take the exams."

"Sending message to the parent's means the pressure floats to the family. Now it is very difficult to manage Tk 78 thousand at once including late fee," added this student.

Students of the English and BBA departments, requesting anonymity for fear of university authorities, told Banglanews, "This is a 6-month semester, secondly, university has offered a 2-month course to improve CGPA at the end of the semester, this is another mental torture. Who wouldn't want to improve CGPA? It can be seen that we have to do this course under some kind of compulsion."

Quoting university authorities, they also said there should be two and a half hours of classes to increase the CGPA. "We general students are gasping at all such rules."

On the condition of anonymity, a university teacher said, "There are some new rules, with which not only the students but also we staffs and teachers have to get some speed to adapt."

Last year, 2022, the University Grants Commission (UGC) sent a letter to all private universities to make necessary preparations for implementing the semester from four to six months.

To comply with the decision of UGC, the university authority got a chance to demand a one-time tuition fee from the students.

According to the report, the law and pharmacy departments of BRAC University have a 6-month semester, and all other departments have a 4-month semester. There are installment facilities so that students can pay the entire tuition fee gradually. Another private university, Independent University, has a semester of 4 months and an installment facility. On the other hand, North South University has a six-month semester but can pay tuition fees in installments.

On Saturday (May 18), Banglanews correspondent in this regard visited the East West University campus, later an on-duty official in the reception asked to contact the Public Relations Officer (PRO).

When the correspondent called PRO Mohiuddin, he said, "Whatever you want you can write. But do it in conjunction with BRAC and North South. Any reports are welcomed.'

When asked how to contact the vice chancellor, he said, VC sir is from Australia. One, including university staff and teachers, has to rush to get his appointment.

The officer then provided the Registrar's number to contact through cell phone. 

However, the correspondent couldn't connect with the Registrar even after calling him 8 times. 

Meanwhile, the Registrar himself called and said that he was busy in a meeting and would call later, but he did not contact me after that.

An important information found during this investigation:

A staff member of East West University said that before last Eid-Ul-Fitr, a letter from the National Board of Revenue (NBR) regarding the payment of VAT was received by the university, but the Account department somehow ignored that letter.

After that, suddenly, the university's bank account with Bank Asia was blocked in the month of Eid. It was later understood that EWU had violated the government rule of 15% VAT on profits. Approximately Tk 60 to 80 crores of VAT was due, which the educational institution did not pay.

After that, the officials of the educational institution normalised the bank account by paying about Tk 30 crore of VAT. It is known that East West University is still paying the VAT in installments. The information is said to have been kept secret.

Here, the question remains: How much profit does East West University make? Is the pressure of VAT shifted to the students?

When Professor Robayet Ferdous of Dhaka University was asked about this, he told Banglanews that the first line of the private university code of the UGC is, 'Private university shall be a non-profit institution'. Today, they have made it a profitable factory.

It is not desirable in any way that UGC should stop this high tuition fee and take action in this regard. Many children from ordinary families study in private schools, and the board of trustees should consider these issues, he added.    

BDST: 2127 HRS, MAY 20, 2024
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