The Union Grants Commission has introduced a new set of rules to defend students’ interests by quelling educational institutes’ “coercive and profiteering” practices in the matter of authentication of certificates during admission, refunds and payment of fees.
Following this, no institution of higher education shall demand of a student to surrender his or her original documents like transfer certificates, marks cards, and other personal testimonials during the submission of the admission form.
According to the new rule
As a result of this, the original documents will have to be physically verified by the institutes during admission and be returned directly. However, attested copies can be held on to by the institute.
It’s also been clarified by the UGC that it’s not mandatory, at any time during the study course, for the applicants to buy institutes’ prospectuses. Also, a student can be charged for fees only for the particular academic semester or year in which (s)he will be studying in the institute.
The norms stated that it’s strictly prohibited to collect advance fees for the whole study programme, for more than one year or semester when the student has decided to study there. This is done so the student will not have restrictions from considering change of course somewhere else.
The new norms also specified that in the case of a student opting to withdraw from his or her current study course, the institution shall refund the fees paid by the student by following a four-tier system.
It further goes to mention that a maximum of 10 % of the aggregate fees can be retained by the institute for reasons of processing charges if the withdrawal notice is submitted at least 15 days prior to the admission’s last date.
The amount that can be deducted from the refundable total will constantly increase as the last date of admission approaches. So, the longer a student waits to submit the notice of withdrawal, the lower the amount (s)he will be refunded.
The norms also mention that it is compulsory for all universities, as authorised by the UGC (Grievance Redressal) Regulations, 2012, to establish a ‘Grievance Redressal Committee’ to address and efficiently find solutions to complaints.