Medical colleges charging extra fees even from govt scholarship holders

Kathmandu, April 6

Many medical colleges in the country have been found charging extra fees under various heads from the students on government scholarships.

The government provides scholarships to students from the poor and disadvantaged communities, including Dom, Chamar, Badi and Musahar.

An action plan, which was formulated and implemented on 8 October 2015, has a provision requiring the government to provide scholarship to such students meeting eligibility criteria to pursue bachelor’s degree course in medical sciences and engineering. However, medical colleges in the country are collecting a hefty amount from the students on government scholarships. Birgunj-based National Medical College, Universal College of Medical Sciences of Bhairahawa, Gandaki Medical College and Teaching Hospital are collecting additional fees from the students who were enrolled under the government scholarship quota.

One of the students recently enrolled at Universal College of Medical Sciences in Bhairahawa this year told THT on condition of anonymity that the college had demanded extra fee before granting an admission to MBBS course.

Talking to THT over phone, he said, “Rs 4,245,000 is the total amount that the government has fixed for medical course outside Kathmandu valley, which will be borne by the government in the case of a student on scholarship. But the college demanded Rs 300,000 extra before admission.”

“I paid Rs 151,000 to the college by taking loan from my relatives to ensure that I am enrolled at the college,” he added. The student added that he was unable to pay the rest of the money and that the college administration has been pressuring him to pay the remaining amount. “I have also heard that the administration is planning to bar me from attending regular classes,” he claimed.

A document received by THT shows that Universal College of Medical Sciences collects fees under the headings, annual fee (Rs 200,000), service charge (Rs 84,900) and hostel charge (10,500) from a student on scholarship.

Like UCMS, National Medical College, Birgunj, also charges extra fee from students on scholarship. Ramji Ram, a student in the fourth year of MBBS course at NMC, said the college demanded extra fees just before every examination.

“NMC charges Rs 300,000 as annual fee besides hostel charges every year. My father is a farmer and we cannot afford such a huge amount every year. I haven’t paid even a single penny in these four years. So I was always harassed by the college during the examination time,” he said.

Ram has also written a letter to the University Grant Commission, complaining that the college was charging him extra fee. The scholarship amount has been reimbursed by University Grant Commission. But UGC clearly stated that there was no provision of providing fund for the extra fee that was charged by colleges.

University Grant Commission has been providing additional amount of Rs 5,000 for hostel and food every month. “But we are forced to stay at college hostel which costs double the amount. It has also added to our expenses,” he added.