Cost Sharing in Higher Education - Increasing the Fees
A commonly suggested cost recovery method is to increase the fees charged for the courses in higher education. The share of fees in the total expenditure in higher education has declined over time. This has happened because the fees for courses in higher education was kept undisturbed for a long time even though the cost of providing education increased. This resulted in an increasing cost-fee disparity. It is rightly argued that most of the students who pursue higher education generally belong to families belonging to the higher income strata whose ability to pay is higher. Subsidies in education for such families is thus ill targeted. The justifiability for increasing the fees at the tertiary levels of education is therefore generally agreed in principle. Many ways of increasing the fees are suggested.
(i) a uniform increase in fees for graduate and post-graduate courses;
(ii) increasing the fees based on the cost of provision of courses;
(iii) giving autonomy to colleges for deciding on the fees to be charged for courses offered, etc.
In all these cases, students opting for similar courses are levied the same fee, either at the college or university level. In other words, this does not discriminate between those with ability to pay and others who may not be able to afford. The approach is thus held to be against the equity considerations.