Distance education through the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is all set to get costlier by 20 % from January due to pay revision, even though there may not be much of an increase in fees in regular universities. Its Academic Council on January 13 approved a proposal to increase fees by 20% and charges for value-added services by 50-60 per cent, which apparently makes it the first central university to do such a thing. The decision, once vetted by the council's Board of Management, will impact 19.4 lakh university students enrolled in over 100 courses. For an MBA course, a student will have to pay INR 2,800 for each semester of six months.
'The hike was necessary to meet the 40 % additional expenditure arising from revision in pay scales,' Vice-Chancellor V.N. Rajashekharan Pillai said. He, however, added there would be no fee increase for social sector courses like agriculture and for students belonging to below poverty line category. The agenda circulated at the meeting also said the fee hike was required to strengthen the student support service network and to maintain quality in programme delivery. 'To improve quality, we need a strong student support network,' an IGNOU official said.