Islamabad-Students of International Islamic University (IIUI) staged a protest against fee hike, lack of facilities and administrative problems in the university here on Tuesday.

Scores of students from male campus gathered in front of academic blocks and held a rally towards administrative block chanting slogans for provision of their rights in the university.

The academic activities remained suspended in male campus owing to the students protest.

The protest was focused on fee hike and administrative negligence but demonstrators also accused some sections for trying to ‘de-Islamize’ the university.

In their demands, students asked to reduce fee in around 15 bachelors/master level programs brining them at par with public sector universities of the country.

The students demanded to start construction of university mosque, new hostels, cafeteria, academic blocks, parking shades and restoration of mess committee and management.

On the academic side, students expressed concerns on the negligence of university administration due to which Higher Education Commission (HEC) asked the university to shut down around 20 PhD programs.

Students also complained in their protest about the misbehaviour of university security staffs, which monitors the entry and exit points of the university.

Majid Ameer, a representative from protestors talking to The Nation said that university administration raised around 50 per cent fee as compared to last year which is unaffordable for students.

“Degree program fee for LLB (5 years) in International Islamic University is Rs 20,400 while Punjab University covers the same program in Rs 10,750,” he claimed.

He also said that HEC has closed a number of PhD programs in the university which spread uncertainty in MPhill students who had planned to continue PhD program.

He also said that administration adopting discrimination behaviour against senior students has also raised the hostel fee of MPhill/PhD students.

“Already students are not allotted rooms in hostels till 4th semester and now shortage of rooms has become a problem for students,” he said.

According to him, university administration is well aware of room shortage in hostels but is not interested to build new building.

He also accused university administration for taking university mosque fund but not utilizing it.

“Every student pays Rs 500 for mosque in the university but administration till now has not laid the foundation stone,” he alleged.

Meanwhile, a source informed The Nation though some demands in the protest were real as administration has showed negligence in providing facilities to students but it was not the sole purpose of the protest.

He also said that students will lockdown the university if their demands are not met in two days.

“A specific student organization had tight grip on student affairs but for last few months, administration has neutralized its influence by taking action against it,” he said.

According to him, since the university has expelled some students from this specific association its dominance has started fading away on students and administration.

“Today’s protest could also be taken as show of power from the organization that it still exists,” he said.  

International Islamic University administration in its official response informed The Nation, “A minor protest, for a very little time staged by few students, was settled down by university administration after negotiation with students.”

The students were ensured that their legitimate demands will be fulfilled on priority basis.