UGC Directs Universities, Colleges to Ensure Compliance With Admission Fee Refund Policy
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a directive to higher educational institutions (HEIs) regarding the enforcement of a fee refund policy for the upcoming academic year, 2023-24. The UGC has taken this step in response to numerous complaints and representations received from students and parents concerning the failure of HEIs to refund fees upon admission cancellations or withdrawals.
In order to address this issue, the UGC has mandated that students be entitled to a complete refund of fees within a specified period, enabling them to opt for a program of their choice. The decision was made during the UGC's 570th meeting held on June 27. The official notice issued by the UGC stated, "Irrespective of any guidelines, prospectus, notification, or schedule, HEIs are required to provide a full refund of fees in case of admission cancellations or student migrations until September 30, 2023. However, a processing fee not exceeding Rs 1,000 may be deducted until October 31, 2023."
Furthermore, the UGC has emphasized that the regulations outlined in its October 2018 notification, which pertains to fee refunds and the retention of original certificates, should be applicable to any admission schedule that extends or commences after October 31. For easy reference, the provisions mentioned in the UGC notification are as follows:
- 100% refund: 15 days or more before the officially notified admission deadline.
- 90% refund: Less than 15 days before the officially notified last date of admission.
- 80% refund: 15 days or less after the officially notified admission deadline.
- 50% refund: More than 15 days but less than 30 days after the officially notified last date of admission.
- 0% refund: More than 30 days after the officially notified admission deadline.
The UGC has directed HEIs to ensure compliance with the fee refund policy for the academic session of 2023-24. Additionally, any grievances raised by students should be resolved according to the provisions stated in the Commission's "Redressal of Grievances of Students" Regulations, 2023. The UGC warns that any HEI found in violation of the policy will face punitive action as outlined in clause 5 of the October 2018 UGC notification regarding fee refunds and the non-retention of original certificates.