UGC orders all colleges and universities to reimburse hostel fees charged during Covid-19

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The UGC said it would take action against higher education institutions that do not follow the instructions (Representative image)

Students have complained to UGC about hostel and mess fees charged by universities during the pandemic which have not been reimbursed despite not using the facilities

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has ordered all universities and colleges to promptly refund hostel and mess fees taken during the Covid-19 pandemic or adjust them in other fees. The commission further said it would take action against higher education institutions that fail to follow the instructions.

Students had previously complained to UGC about hostel and mess fees charged by universities during the pandemic, which were not reimbursed despite not using the facilities. In this regard, on Tuesday, UGC Secretary Prof. Rajnish Jain wrote a letter to the Vice Chancellors of all universities.

The letter stated, “Several references have been received from students stating that they have not used hostel and mess services during the COVID-I9 pandemic period, but institutions are not adjusting/reimbursing the mess dues and hostel dues, already paid by them. All Higher Education Institutions are requested to adjust/defer mess fees and accommodation fees to all students charged during the COVID-I9 pandemic period. You are requested to respect the instructions in letter and in spirit.

Read also | UGC changes rules for distance education and aims to enroll more foreign students

The commission has also asked universities to refund full tuition fees to students, who have accepted admission but later cancel it. With CBSE results released at the end of July and JEE Main, NEET, CUET results not yet declared, this year’s admissions process may continue until October. Many students have already accepted admission to private colleges as a fallback option. The UGC has therefore ordered these colleges to refund full fees by October 31 if students wish to cancel their admission. This measure was taken in view of the financial difficulties faced by parents and their wards.

There should be no cancellation fees due to cancellations or migrations until October 31 and no more than Rs 1,000 as a processing fee if done before December. Several universities begin their academic session in mid-August and September. One month after the start of the course, the fees are generally not refunded. This time the rule has been changed.

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