The Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) is yet to implement revised monthly stipend and house rent allowance for students of RUB which was revised in the last National Assembly.

The students still receives monthly stipend of Nu 1,500 in a month.

On the recommendations of the National Assembly on June 11, the monthly stipend and house rent allowance for students was revised from Nu 1,500 to Nu 2,500 a student a month. A house rent allowance of Nu 1,500 is paid to those who are mandated to live outside the campus.

The revised monthly stipend should have come into effect by July.

RUB’s vice chancellor, Nidup Dorji, said that the RUB was yet to receive the order to implement the revised stipend although RUB had already submitted the revision details to the ministry of finance.

He said that RUB was waiting for finance ministry’s approval and budget release.

“Once the revision has been endorsed, there are certain procedures that must be followed,” Nidup Dorji said. “We’re waiting for government directives.”

The stipend for the RUB students was last revised in 2011.

It was reported that the current stipend was able to provide only 300 calories per meal per student; the revised stipend will provide at least 500 calories per meal per student.

About 30 percent of the students live off-campus.

As per the calculation submitted to the National Assembly, an increase of Nu 1,000 on the existing stipend would require additional of Nu 10,000 per student for a 10-month academic year.

The total expenditure for 7,915 students in a year will amount to Nu 79.15 million while house rent allowance will amount to Nu 35.625 million per year.

Finance Minister Namgay Tshering had earlier said that Nu 208 million was allocated for RUB as a capitation fee, which means this would cover the revision since the RUB can decide where and how to utilise the budget.

“The capitation fee is in the form of a grant and the fund would be released as per the recommendations submitted by the RUB. The revision is necessary for the students and the budget will be enough,” the minister said.

Yangchen C Rinzin