TAXILA, Sept 16: Hundreds of students from the University of Wah held a protest demonstration against 40 per cent fee hike by the university here on Friday.
The angry students besieged the administration block of the university and put traffic out of gear on the Mall for over three hours.
The university has made 30 to 40 per cent increase in tuition fee, stand-up fee and other expenses for new as well as already enrolled students from September.
Carrying placards, wearing black armbands and chanting slogans against the university administration, the students marched from the academic block to the administration block at around 10am and staged a sit-in there.
They later gathered on the Mall and suspended traffic.
Talking to newsmen, the students said the increase in fees started from the new academic session but the 40 per cent hike was notified for the students studying in even final semesters.
They said as it was a private sector university, its fee was already very high and the latest 40 per cent increase in the fees had made it difficult for the middle class students to continue education.
Sadia, who was leading the female protesting students, said there was always six to 10 per cent increase in fees of the university but by notifying 40 per cent hike the institution had pushed the students and their parents to the wall. She said most of the students had no option but to leave the university as they were unable to pay the high fees.
Another student, Saqib, said in no university there was such a fee hike for the already enrolled students.
Shazia Parveen said the federal and Punjab governments always claimed that they were working for promotion of education but such steps would ruin the dreams of the students to get education.
They called upon the chairman Higher Education Commission and the governor of Punjab to direct the university administration to rationalise the fee structure and withdraw the 40 per cent hike.
The students called off the strike around 1.30pm after the administration promised that their demands would be considered in a meeting of the board of governors of the university.
When contacted, Vice Chancellor Prof Maqbool Ahmed said the university was facing financial crunch after the POF administration and the HEC reduced financial support to it.
He said the university was also facing problems to meet the salary expenditure of the academic and non-academic staff and it was necessary to enhance the fee to meet the expenditure
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