UGC Mandates Full Fee Refunds: New Policy For Academic Session 2024-25

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Students and parents voicing discontent over Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) failing to refund fees after admissions face a silver lining as the University Grants Commission (UGC) rolls out a comprehensive fee refund policy for the academic session 2024-25.

During its 580th meeting on May 15, the UGC directed HEIs to institute a robust refund mechanism. Effective immediately, institutions must provide a full refund of fees for all cancelled or migrated admissions until September 30. Moreover, a nominal processing fee, not exceeding Rs 1,000, will be charged for refunds processed until October 31, 2024.

This directive spans all HEIs, including those established under Central or State Acts and those recognized by the UGC under Section 2(f) of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956. It also encompasses institutions classified as universities under Section 3 of the same Act and affiliated HEIs.

The UGC's directive extends to bodies handling admissions and fee collection on behalf of HEIs, with each institution entrusted to ensure prompt fee refunds in line with the new guidelines.

For admissions initiated post-October 31, HEIs must adhere to the fee refund framework outlined in the UGC's October 2018 notification, specifying refund percentages relative to the withdrawal timing.

Underlining the policy's longevity, the UGC emphasized its continuity for subsequent academic sessions until further review. The commission also reiterated its commitment to resolving student grievances through the Redressal of Grievances of Students Regulations, 2023.

The UGC affirmed the seriousness of any lapses or delays in facilitating fee refunds beyond stipulated timelines, indicating that such instances will be treated as significant violations, with erring HEIs subject to punitive measures as per the 2018 notification.