June 30, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty, Staff,
Following the announcement of the new fee structure, a number of students and faculty raised concerns regarding the tuition fee for the forthcoming academic year. This note explains in more detail the rationale behind charging fees on a per-credit hour basis, a practice that was followed in the past.
The new system will keep tuition-costs the same for most undergraduate students and rising Juniors, Seniors, Super Seniors will be paying fees based on the old model. This is for their own benefit since they had made course-plans under the old fee structure and did not anticipate this change in fee structure in their final years.
The old fee structure required additional tuition expense for summer courses and 9th/10th semesters, there was financial pressure to complete the degree within 8 spring/fall terms. In the new fee structure (fee charged per CH) taking 9th and 10th semester does not change the overall cost to students of a LUMS degree, it remains roughly the same, irrespective of the number of credits taken in any particular term. This makes summer credits and 9th/10th terms more cost-neutral and therefore more viable. In other words: decisions about how many CHs, and when to take them, can now be based on academic factors without being distorted by financial factors. Fee per CH only impacts short-term payments while the overall cost of the full degree remains approximately the same whether students complete the degree in 7, 8, 9 or 10 semesters.
Accommodations for certain batches
Rising Juniors, Seniors and Super Seniors will retain the old fee structure. Financial assistance for summer or 9th/10th terms is only possible under the new per-credit fee structure. For summer 2021 and onwards per credit tuition fee for these batches of students will remain the same as the new fee structure, but they will not receive financial assistance. Further, we will not withdraw the financial assistance commitment to rising juniors or seniors for Summer Term for this year, 2020. We recommend this one-time exception as we understand that students have already made plans for this year’s Summer term (sessions I and II), 2020.
- Rising Sophomore and incoming First-Year students will be charged according to the new fee system. They will be charged for 130 CHs but allowed 136 CHs (i.e. a cushion of 6 CHs) to allow for some flexibility. Furthermore, students on Financial Assistance will be allowed 140 CHs and be able to apply for financial assistance for up to 145 CHs (i.e. a cushion of 10-15 CHs).
- Current rising sophomores impacted by the pandemic who have used the no credit (NC) option will not face a financial penalty for making up CHs in the future. We will provide an extra cushion of 4 CHs only for current rising sophomores. This means that only for this batch will have 140 CHs or a cushion of 10 CH (FA students will have 144-149 CHs or a cushion of 14-19 CHs).
- Some majors require more than 130 CHs. For Electrical Engineering majors and Chemical Engineering majors 140 CHs are to be allocated for graduation; Law students are allocated 170 CHs on the same five-year fee structure and those on FA will get 175 credits (180 if they apply and are granted FA). Biology requires 131 CHs, but the cushion is already built into the fee system (6 CHs for all students, 10-15 CHs for FA students). Electrical Engineering and Chemical Engineering Majors, who are on FA will get 145 credits (150 if they apply and are granted FA). To reiterate, for these majors as well the provision for FA, students in the new system gives under-resourced students opportunity to access extra CHs.
Historically, the limited course offerings during the summer semester resulted in higher enrolments in fall and spring terms, exacerbating demand for popular courses and preventing many students from enrolling in courses of their choice. The enrolment pressure also resulted in larger class sizes, which impacted on the learning experience.
For the first time, students have the option to take courses in two 4 week summer terms. This means as additional courses are offered including popular courses, students have greater choice in course-selections and a greater chance of getting into their preferred courses. The new fee structure makes summer credits equivalent to credits earned in any other semester. Decisions about how many CHs to take, and when to take them, can now be based on academic factors rather than financial factors which are discussed below.
With the new fee structure, summer courses are eligible for financial support which they weren’t before. Students can now apply for financial assistance for courses they wish to take during the summer making these course options more accessible to more students than before.
In the old fee structure, students paid a flat fee per semester for 12-20 CHs and they paid additional tuition for any courses they took during the summer. Only students who had the ability to pay could take summer courses. Some students felt financial pressure to complete their degree within the regular spring/fall terms since financial assistance was not an option during the summer. For many students, this often led to work overloads during those spring/fall terms.
With the new fee model, the cost-difference between a student who graduates in 9 or more terms (vs. a student who graduates in 8 terms) will only be the semester registration fee (lab fee for SBASSE students is charged for only 8 semesters, so 9th/10th semesters there will be no lab fee and there is no registration fee or lab fee for summer semesters).
Comparison between Old and New Fee Structures
Overall, the average tuition cost of a LUMS degree under the old fee structure was PKR 2,818,925 for graduates from the last three batches (2017-2019, all majors). In the new per-CH fee structure, the average tuition cost of the degree comes out to be PKR 2,807,316. Although the new fee structure may result in variable tuition in a particular semester based on enrolled CHs, the total overall cost of a LUMS degree remains equivalent to the total cost of the degree as under the prior fee structure. Additional details for tuition-fee comparison for the average LUMS graduate of 2017-19 batches are provided in the Report on the student notice board.
In conclusion, both tuition models (pay-per-semester and pay-per-CH) generate comparable tuition costs. This means that on average students will be paying the same tuition in both models. In addition to being more equitable and keeping tuition the same on average – i.e. being ‘cost-neutral’ for the average student – the new fee model expands curricular opportunities and learning experiences for all students.
Please refer to the following address if you have any questions firstname.lastname@example.org or access the FAQs. on the student notice board (along with a detailed Report) that we will upload very soon.
Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor
Kamran Asdar Ali, Interim Provost
Sexual Harassment Policy
June 28, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
Sexual harassment, bullying and coercion are violations of human rights and demean human dignity. These acts are unacceptable and have no place in an environment where we aspire to have safe and healthy learning opportunities for everyone. The LUMS policy on sexual harassment is explicit: We do not tolerate it from any member of the LUMS community – faculty, staff, students and alumni. We must also consider the broader context of these issues in our society where harassment and abuse is oftentimes condoned and where silence on these matters is encouraged. As a leading organization, LUMS must do more to set a good example for our broader communities.
We are committed to confronting and eliminating sexual harassment, bullying and coercion with education and deterrence through both policy and practice. Developing systems that are transparent, fair and inclusive is an on-going process and we will strive to do more at LUMS. The distress that several community members have experienced and expressed thus far make it evident that more needs to be done to make LUMS a better, more inclusive space. This is exactly what we resolve to do today.
I am also extending my full support to every individual and especially women, who experience abuse or offensive behaviour in any form. We acknowledge the courage of women who have spoken out and recognize the enormous challenges in the face of bullying, violence and harassment, including intimidation from perpetrators to remain silent. To endure discomfort or fear in your place of learning or employment is unacceptable; to suffer sexual abuse is intolerable. We commit to enacting the strongest possible measures to ensure a safer and more supportive environment for all at LUMS.
There are many suggestions that students and others are encouraging, including more courses on harassment, staff and faculty training, policy announcements in course outlines and in class, a code of conduct and more. We would like to work together to initiate better changes on our campus, online, and overall in the culture of learning and living within the LUMS family. We encourage students to send recommendations and suggestions directly to the Office of Inclusion and Accessibility (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). We recommit to working with you in bringing about meaningful change and also encourage students to provide feedback through other forums such as the Student Council and other societies including the Feminist Society.
To strengthen the LUMS Sexual Harassment Policy, we want to incorporate more of your feedback and commit to sharing and communicating the revised policy across all relevant forums. We will also continue to respond to calls for more open conversations and to extend those that have already begun in various schools and online groups. In the coming days, we will invite you to attend a virtual Town Hall to continue these critical conversations together.
In the meantime, if you have experienced harassment, we encourage you to reach out to the Sexual Harassment committee for support in filing a complaint or to discuss other options that may be available to you. Rest assured that our student counsellors are also available at all times to support and guide anyone who wishes to move forward on matters that remain unresolved.
We acknowledge that students as well as academic administrators, teaching assistants, and all members of the faculty and staff share the important responsibility for taking prompt action, including notifying the appropriate resource people if they become aware of any conduct that they suspect violates the University's harassment policy. But committees or individuals by themselves do not have all the answers. Eradicating harassment and fostering a respectful environment requires input and continuous commitment from all members of the University community. Now is the time that we need your help to foster a more respectful, harassment-free environment that furthers the educational and professional endeavours of all members of the LUMS community.
Thank you for assisting us to make LUMS a better place.
Dr. Arshad Ahmad
June 25, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
As you may recall, earlier this year, LUMS established The Office of Accessibility and Inclusion (‘OAI’). This move was made in recognition of the fact that despite mottos to the contrary, our campus can often be not-so-inclusive, inaccessible and even hostile for people with disabilities and vulnerable groups who may not appear to be excluded. OAI exists to ensure that people are not just present on campus, but engage in meaningful exchange, and own the campus as theirs irrespective of religion, ethnicity, physical or mental ability, gender, orientation or any other difference. It is our aim to work with all departments and individuals across campus to ensure a peaceful and productive learning and working environment for all.
One of the matters that has over the years needed serious attention now comes under the umbrella of the Office is the Sexual Harassment Inquiry Committee; OAI is responsible for preparing and publicizing the code of conduct relating to sexual harassment for all individuals on campus. We are committed to create an environment free from such behaviour on campus. LUMS affirms the right of every member of the LUMS Community to live, study, and work in an environment that is free from harassment. Behaviour constituting sexual harassment as defined in the TORs and the 2010 Act is incompatible with all recognized standards of professional ethics and with behaviour appropriate to an institution of higher learning.
LUMS has in place a Sexual Harassment Policy which creates an inquiry committee tasked with the responsibility of hearing, investigating and recommending penalties for claims of sexual harassment. The committee comprises of a minimum of three (3) members, at least one (1) of whom will always be a woman. Any correspondence with, hearings before, material shared with the inquiry committee is strictly confidential. Any breach of this confidentiality shall result in disciplinary action.
The Office of Accessibility and Inclusion, and the sexual harassment inquiry committee exists to help and support you. If you have any queries, concerns, or complaints relating to harassment or inclusion, or if you would like to discuss any options, please feel free to email email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to assist you in whatever way we can.
For matters relating to counselling, kindly email email@example.com, or visit this page for more information.
Information on how to file a complaint is available in the attached document.
Office of Accessibility and Inclusion
LUMS Fees Update
May 8, 2020
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.
LUMS Fee Structure
May 5, 2020
A number of students and faculty have raised several concerns regarding the tuition fee for the forthcoming academic year. These concerns provide valuable feedback and the need for everyone to be informed. This note offers explanations about the fee structure and the fee increase at LUMS.
Fees are under constant review as they are critical inputs to our regular planning and budgeting for the university. Overall, we are rebalancing the fee structure as explained below. The decisions that led to the recent fee increase and the implications of COVID-19 are also discussed below. Some examples are also presented in an effort to offer clarity and to provide full transparency.
During a pandemic, planning ahead is subject to significant possible changes which is why we will be reassessing the fee structure in late summer.
We seek to always ensure that the interests of students, faculty and staff are reflected in the financial decisions that are made by senior administrators and the trustees of our not-for-profit university. Thank you for your patience and for taking the time to read this note in its entirety.
Student tuition fees have increased each year since the university began its operations over 30 years ago. These increases are a reflection of two factors. First, higher fees recover part of the incremental costs of running university operations and second, they respond to the external economic shocks that are beyond university control. Historically, these annual fee increases have been communicated to students via fee vouchers.
The principal difference this year is a change in the fee structure. We have reverted back to the practice of charging fees on a per credit hour basis, a practice that was followed at LUMS in the past. Importantly, this practice is also common in leading universities worldwide. Fees charged on a per credit hour basis brings balance and neutrality so that the cost does not favour those students who take more courses over those who take fewer courses. Fees charged per credit hour implies that the total cost of a 4 year degree program at LUMS is the same irrespective of whether you take 3, 4, 5 or 6 courses per semester.
This norm was changed in the past where students were charged the same fee per semester for taking 12 credits hours (CH) and did not change if up to 20 CH were taken during the semester. For example, tuition fees for this current academic year were Rs. 28,350 per credit for the first 12 CH and no extra fees were charged if a student took up to 20 CH. In other words, the fee remained the same whether a student took 12 CH or 20 CH.
This “cushion” of being able to take extra courses incentivized some students to take course overloads each term. Many of these students weren’t able to handle these overloads and took more CH’s than were required by their degree programs. The negative impact of course overloads was evident in lower grades for some courses. Overloads also increased stress levels which correlate with mental health issues which have become a major concern across our university.
The former policy has also encouraged an inordinate focus on improving GPA’s as students who did not do well on extra courses repeated them in subsequent terms. In other words, students were repeating courses where they obtained a C- or lower grade which did not cost them extra.
Importantly, while the total fees remain unchanged for students taking overloads, students who take less credits (12 CH) are in effect subsidizing those who take more (20 CH). It is fairer for fees to be charged for the number of CHs taken so that some students do not pay for others who opt for overloads.
In terms of fees charged, the important point is that the new fee structure does not affect the total four-year tuition cost. Given the new fee structure, the overall increase is not the 41 percent calculation that is being cited on various social media forums. According to the new fee structure, if one calculates tuition for 20 CH per semester (overload) then this increase is higher than if a student takes 16 CH. On the other hand, the tuition for the semester decreases if one takes 12 CH per semester (please see the calculations below). This is a much fairer system for all.
As mentioned above, fee increases have occurred each year since the university began its operations. The decision to increase fees for 2020 were made prior to COVID-19 to cover increases in the cost of operations due to external shocks. These shocks took into account extraordinary increases in 2019 that were a result of double-digit inflation, a significant rise in energy costs and a historic currency devaluation. Further, the majority of institutions internationally have increased their fees. Accordingly, the increase determined for 2020 was 13% and not the percentages reported elsewhere. As noted, this fee increase for the Fall of 2020 was made pre-COVID at a time when our annual costs were rapidly increasing. Now we have COVID-19 and we will reassess these fees in the summer, especially if the university does not open its campus.
The new fee structure is now based on Rs. 21,300 per CH. In the short run, a student will benefit if he/she takes less courses (12 CH) and disadvantaged if he/she takes more courses (20 CH). Please note, the majority of students take 16 CH. Some take 12 CH, and some take the overload of 20 CH. The average course load needs to be slightly above 16 CH per semester, which roughly adds up to 130 credits required in four years. Of course, we have some programs that have different credit requirements. Again, the example below explains the semester fees under different scenarios.
It is true that the new structure disincentivizes students from taking 20 CH for the reasons outlined above. Students stand to benefit by taking a normal course load of 16 CH. Furthermore, they can pace their studies by taking courses over the summer. Please note, the summer rate for 2020 is not subject to the fee increase.
The university appreciates that some seniors and super seniors will register for 20 credit hours per semester. The university fully anticipates this and will alleviate any adverse financial impact on them.
There are still unanswered questions regarding how COVID-19 plays out in the fall semester. As indicated in an earlier email to students, we will continue to monitor and adjust the fee structure in the event we have to go fully online in the Fall semester.
Rest assured, as a not-for-profit university, LUMS will continue to provide accessible education to students based solely on merit, irrespective of their financial backgrounds. We welcome and will continue to take your input into consideration. Furthermore, LUMS has committed to provide significant financial support to those who need it most. Last year, one out of three students received financial support.
We hope this note helps to clarify some of the confusion and we look forward to responding to other questions and comments you might have.
Based on last year’s rate: Taking 12 CH (Rs. 32,033 x 12) = Rs. 384,396
12 CH = 12 x Rs. 24,100 =289,200 (Decrease)
16 CH = 16 x Rs. 24,100 = 385,600 (Approximately the Same)
20 CH = 20 x Rs. 24,100 = 482,000 (Increase)
- The cost per credit hour for the first 12 CH = Rs. 28,350. This explains the cost paid before the fee increase to be Rs. 28350 x 12 CH = Rs. 340,200
- Adjusted rate per CH based on external shocks (Rs 28,350 x 13%) = Rs. 32,033
- Based on the new structure without the external shocks increase, the cost per credit hour for 16 CH = Rs. 21,300. So the adjusted rate per CH based on external shocks (Rs 21,300 x 13%) = 24,100
- The university will ensure that final year students (seniors and super seniors) pay for the average cost of 16 credits and waive the fee for extra 4 credits in case they require 20 CH. It is also important to note that summer courses are still based on the pre-inflation rate Rs. 28,350 where 13% has not been applied. This is a significant financial incentive to take summer courses.
LUMS Fees 2020
May 4, 2020
LUMS fees for 2020 were determined before COVID-19 that is entirely consistent with prior years and took into account extraordinary increases in inflation, energy costs and currency devaluation. The increase determined for 2020 was 13% which we will monitor in determining the next fee card.
Furthermore, previously, a per semester blanket fee was being charged for students taking between 12 to 20 credit hours. This fee is now calculated on a per credit hour basis which will increase the semester fees for some and decrease it for others. The important point is that the total fee to meet graduation requirements does not change as a result of the shift to a per credit hour basis. One of the reasons for the shift is to discourage students from taking course overloads which negatively impacts their learning. LUMS fees cover a fraction of the total costs. As a not-for-profit university, gifts from donors, trustees, etc. help to subsidise one out of three students.