Protesters said revised fee structure should be applicable only for newly-admitted candidates

Students of National Institute of Fashion Technology in Chennai joined their counterparts in other NIFT centres around the country to protest against a “substantial” hike in fees.

Students, all dressed in black, questioned how the revised fee structure could be applicable to existing students, instead of new admissions. A third-year student at the college said that they will have to spend at least an additional Rs. 15,000 each semester when the revised fee structure comes into force. Another student said that they had heard about the hike mostly from students in other centres, and had not been informed about it yet officially.

One of the protesters, who had taken a bank loan for his education, said that it was unfair to them as it would be a hassle to get an additional amount sanctioned in the middle of the course. “I submitted the four-year fee structure at the time of sanctioning of the loan, and this is becoming unaffordable,” the student said.

Students of design said that in addition to the fee, they also incur substantial expenditure in buying materials on a regular basis for their various projects. “Since the college is located in Taramani, we travel into the city to get materials at a fair price,” a student said. Classes were supposed to resume on Monday after the mid-term exam got over last week. Students said that they want the Director General of NIFT to address the students on the issue.

Officials in the college said that they would forward the students’ representation to Delhi, as decisions about the fee structure are taken at a central-level. While noting that the previous fee hike was in 2011, the official said that second-year students would have to pay around Rs. 8,000 additionally per semester, and those entering their third and fourth years would have to pay around Rs. 18,750 additionally per semester when the proposed fee structure comes into effect.

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