Delhi University’s recent decision to raise the fees for its PhD courses has stirred up a significant controversy. It is drawing sharp criticism from both students and teachers alike. According to a recent report, some professors connected to the Department of English, DU have expressed concerns regarding a significant increase in programme fees for the PhD. This sudden hike in fees for the English PhD course, DU is Tenfold. This has increased dramatically, from a modest ₹1,932 to a much greater ₹23,968. This unprecedented adjustment in the fee structure has sparked widespread outrage within the academic community.
The sharp disparity between the previous and current fees has understandably fueled concerns about accessibility and affordability for aspiring scholars. Particularly they have dissatisfied with this for a country where higher education costs can be a significant barrier. For many, pursuing a PhD represents a critical juncture in their academic and professional journey. But such a hike in fees for the English PhD course, DU threatens to limit opportunities and deter talented individuals from pursuing advanced degrees.
The PhD programme at Delhi University has experienced a significant fee hike for the English PhD course, DU with the former fee of Rs 1,932 now amounting to an astounding Rs 23,968. The academic community is discussing and expressing alarm about this large increase in fees. It is a move that both staff and students find dubious because it raises the costs of the PhD programme. Those who want to pursue an English doctorate at the institution may face challenges due to a hike in financial requirements.
The teachers’ comments against this fee adjustment illuminated a broader conversation about accessibility and cost in higher education. Increased tuition may deter students from lower-class backgrounds, which can limit the diversity of perspectives within the academic community. The increased expense to potential students might also have an impact on the overall standard and variety of the PhD programme.
Left-leaning student organisation SFI Delhi University has taken to Twitter to strongly denounce the new hike in fees for the English PhD course, DU. SFI Delhi University highlights in their statement how strongly they oppose this fee change at Delhi University. They are calling it a clear attack on the fundamentals of publicly supported education. The group contends that this decision increases the financial obligations placed on students and their families. They claim that this will restrict access to educational possibilities for financially weak students.
Abha Dev Habib, assistant professor, physics, Miranda House, expressed concerns about the DU Department of English’s sharply rising PhD programme fees in a recent Facebook post. Professor Abha Dev Habib expressed her disapproval of this sharp fee rise on social media, pointing out possible negative consequences. She maintained that this kind of inflation is unjustifiable and goes against academic standards.
However, The steep hike in fees for the English PhD course, DU may make the programme less accessible to a larger group of people, which could have a negative effect on the variety of PhD candidates. She has underlined that reductions and scholarships should not be a replacement for ensuring that education is accessible to everyone. Prof. Abha also mentioned that this year’s tuition for PhD programmes in other fields is comparatively less, at about ₹4,400. She emphasised that this increase in PhD programme fees at the Department of English—more than a tenfold increase—stands out as a noteworthy aberration.
Moreover, She insisted that the immediate rollback of the fee increase was imperative. Additionally, According to Associate Professor Vijaya Venkataraman, students were notified of this unexpected fee hike quite belatedly. Strikingly, this fee alteration has not even included in the PhD Bulletin. It has left students with the ultimatum to either pay the inflated fees and secure their seats or forfeit their academic pursuits altogether.