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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

UGC Announces New Fee Refund Policy for Higher Education

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced a comprehensive fee refund policy for the academic session 2024–25 in response to multiple complaints from parents and students regarding Higher Education Institutions’ (HEIs) failure to reimburse fees upon cancellation or withdrawal of admissions.

The decision, which was reached on May 15 at the UGC’s 580th meeting, requires HEIs to reimburse all fees for any student migrations or cancellations of admissions made up to September 30. Refunds submitted through October 31, 2024, will be subject to a modest processing fee of up to Rs 1,000.

“Notwithstanding anything contained in any guidelines/ prospectus/ notification/ schedule, a full refund of fees shall be made by the HEls on accounl of all cancellations of admissions/migrations of students up to 30 September 2024 and with a deduction of not more than Rs. 1,000, as a processing fee, up to 31 October 2024,” the university body said in an official notice.

This policy applies universally to all HEIs established or incorporated under Central or State Acts, as well as those recognised by the UGC under Section 2(f) of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956. It also covers institutions deemed to be universities under Section 3 of the same Act, and all HEIs affiliated with a university.

Furthermore, the guidelines extend to organisations conducting admissions and fee collection on behalf of HEIs. Each institution is accountable for ensuring timely fee refunds as per the new regulations.

For admissions schedules beginning after October 31, HEIs must adhere to the UGC’s October 2018 notification on fee refunds, which outlines specific percentages of refund based on the timing of withdrawal relative to the formally notified last date of admission.

The UGC emphasised that this policy will remain effective for subsequent academic sessions until revised, and highlighted its commitment to addressing student grievances through the Redressal of Grievances of Students Regulations, 2023. Any delay or denial of fee refunds beyond stipulated timelines will be considered a serious breach, subjecting the HEI to punitive actions outlined in the UGC’s 2018 notification.

Higher Education Institutions are urged to implement the new fee refund policy for the academic year 2024-25 diligently and to address any related grievances promptly in accordance with the UGC regulations.

For further details, institutions and stakeholders can check the complete UGC notification here.

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