LUMS issues a statement, says the 41% increase grossly misstates the fees that all students pay
This note further clarifies a memo sent recently about fees. There has unfortunately been significant misinformation on social media, and it is important to clarify that students at LUMS will not pay any more than what they had committed to pay. In fact, some will actually end up paying less in certain cases explained below. The information below confirms that the 41% increase is a misunderstanding of the new payment structure and unnecessarily feeds into social media sensationalism.
- As a not-for-profit institution that takes pride in the diversity of our student body, LUMS disburses approximately Rs 1 billion in financial aid every year.
- 1 out of 3 students at LUMS receive significant financial aid ranging from 30% to 135% of student tuition.
- We also have about 160 PhD students whose tuition fee is completely waived. They also receive generous monthly stipends.
- Additionally, all women graduate students at the School of Business receive a 50% tuition scholarship.
- All graduate students at the School of Education receive need-based, as well as merit scholarships.
Summer 2020 Fees
The Summer semester course fees are in fact lower by 18%, since the new system charges Rs. 21,300 per credit hour instead of Rs. 26,000. Since students will not be staying in hostels, they will save more. Moreover, while in previous summer semesters, students were not eligible for financial aid, they are eligible now. This will allow them to spread their courses over the year giving them more flexibility. These reductions benefit all students.
Fall 2020 Fees
The 13% inflationary increase that was tentatively scheduled to come into effect in the Fall was based on the pre-COVID circumstances reflecting the State Bank of Pakistan reported inflation numbers. In normal circumstances, we have to make inflation adjustments to ensure we maintain the highest standard of education at par with premier universities across the globe. However, given the COVID-19 crisis, we are already preparing contingency plans in case the campus remains closed, or is partially reopened, and will pass on any savings such as lower utilities bills to our students. In other words, the Fall semester fees will be reassessed in July/August.
New Fee Structure
Like the vast majority of internationally established universities, we are implementing a system that replaces a flat fee each semester with a per-unit charge. This ensures that student fees are proportionate to the number of courses into which they enroll. As mentioned, on average, LUMS students require 130 credit hours (CH) to graduate. Across the 3 major schools (Business, Science & Engineering, and Humanities/Social Science), only 7.8% of students take and successfully complete more than 135 credit hours. The burden of the extra courses taken by these students is paid for by the overwhelming majority who do not take course overloads. The new system extinguishes this cross-subsidy so the majority of students are not penalised.
We have gone further: Students presently at LUMS in their final years of study and who may exceed the average credit hours (130 CH) will not pay more than they would have under the new system. They will be accommodated and grandfathered into the new system. In other words, every student is better off. LUMS is committed to its not-for-profit mission; our financial planning is aimed at remaining sustainable, not earning profits.
We hope this note will remove the misunderstanding and misinformation about the university. Our fees are a fraction of many comparable international institutions. Our mission continues to advance educational opportunities in Pakistan and the broader region educationally, economically and socially while remaining globally visible and competitive.
Arshad Ahmad, VC LUMS
Kamran Asdar Ali, Interim Provost, LUMS