A Move Towards Fairness or Autonomy? Maharashtra Govt Proposes Regulation of Private University Tuition Fees

The Maharashtra government is considering regulating the tuition fees of private universities through the Fee Regulatory Authority (FRA).

A Move Towards Fairness or Autonomy? Maharashtra Govt Proposes Regulation of Private University Tuition Fees
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The state of Maharashtra is currently in the midst of discussions over the rising tuition fees of private universities. The Fee Regulatory Authority (FRA) is tasked with maintaining the fees of universities across the state, but now private universities could also be brought under the authority's purview.

However, the move has been met with resistance from private universities, who argue that they are self-funded and should have the autonomy to set their own fees.

According to reports, the new rule could be implemented during the 2023-2024 academic session, potentially affecting thousands of students in the state. With over 3500 education institutions in Maharashtra, the decision to regulate private university fees is a major one.

The state Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar held a meeting with the vice-chancellor of private universities on January 8 to discuss the issue of rising tuition fees. It was highlighted that the fees of private universities can go as high as double or at times triple the usual fee of aided institutions. This has raised concerns about the affordability of private universities for students from all backgrounds.

In an effort to make private universities more accessible, only last month, the government had announced that it will conduct random audits of private universities to ensure that students are not being overcharged. Qualified chartered accountants would be sent to institutions to conduct the audits and identify any loopholes in the fee structures. 

The high fees of private universities have been a long-standing issue in the state, with students and parents alike raising concerns about the affordability of higher education. The government's move to regulate fees is an attempt to address this issue and make private universities more accessible to students from all backgrounds.

It's important to note that private universities argue that the high fees are necessary to maintain the high standards of education and infrastructure. They also argue that the government should provide more funding and support to private universities to help keep fees low.

The regulation of fees first surfaced in 2015 with the introduction of the Maharashtra Private Unaided Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Fees) Act, 2015, which was introduced to ensure fairness in the admission and fee structure of private universities in the state.

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