Students padlock IOE Examination Control Division, reject five-point agreement earlier reached to withdraw fee hike

Published On: August 31, 2023 05:45 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 31: A group of students at the Institute of Engineering (IOE) in the Pulchowk campus has padlocked the Examination Control Division of the IOE, alleging a contradiction in the agreement reached between Tribhuvan University and student organizations close to the ruling parties on Wednesday.

Biraj Aryal, President of the Free Student Union (FSU) at Pulchowk Engineering Campus, said they padlocked the Examination Control Division of the IOE to express dissatisfaction with the agreement reached on Wednesday.

The protesting students of Pulchowk Engineering Campus and FSU padlocked the Examination Control Division, alleging that the agreement was made without consultation with the relevant stakeholders. Similarly, the student organization close to the CPN-UML, the All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU), burnt a copy of the agreement, alleging that the agreement is merely a tool for fraud.

Previously, the IOE, a part of Tribhuvan University (TU), had revoked its decision to increase the fees for engineering courses. The IOE had implemented a significant tuition fee hike of 176.78 percent, which triggered protests from students within the constituent colleges of the IOE.

The decision, executed by the IOE’s executive committee on August 10, 2023, led to a sudden increase in fees for the constituent campus from Rs 280,000 to Rs 775,000. IOE officials justified the fee hike by pointing out that the government had contributed negligibly to technical education and that they had faced financial hardships to operate the classes.

This lack of support has resulted in financial constraints in running the college, prompting the fee adjustment after 27 years. The tuition for a four-year Bachelor of Engineering program had remained at Rs 280,000 since 2053 BS.

The decision to increase fees was rescinded after a five-point agreement was reached between the protesting student organizations and the TU officials on Thursday. The protesting students had also called off the protest following the agreement.

With the new agreement, the currently postponed programs, including the entrance examination, were supposed to resume. The student organizations close to the ruling parties had staged protests demanding a withdrawal of the increased fees for nine days.

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