Some students thought that the programme was good for the jobs it promised

Even as students line up to buy admission forms at Delhi University, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the fate of 54,000 students who will ultimately get into the university. The four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP), which is poised for a second innings, might just be reconverted to the older tried and tested three-year course. Therefore, in the middle of the raging debates on television, newspapers and the cries of protests, the question is: What do the students, who are out in the sun, buying forms really think?

“If I need to do a Master’s course, I have to study an additional two years. So, in total, I will have to study for six years compared to the other students who will have to study only for five. So, I am at a disadvantage,” said Manisha Nigha. She added that although Delhi University might have provisions for FYUP students to complete their Master’s in one year, many things could change by the time this provision is implemented four years later. “Another concern is that I might not get into the Master’s programme here. Then what?”

There were some who thought that the programme was good for the jobs it promised. “It is difficult to get a job these days with only a Bachelor’s degree. The FYUP offers skills that are useful for a job in the real world. I would definitely want my brother to have this advantage. I also like the co-curricular activities it offers,” said Shivam Rana, who studies in Aurobindo College. His brother Vipul said he did not really know what he wanted and so he was okay with anything as long as he got into a nice college.

There were really clueless students also who were unaware that the university had implemented FYUP last year.

“Is it for four-years? I didn’t know at all. How nice. I will get to spend another year in college!” said Vandana, standing in line to buy a form at Daulat Ram College centre.

Some students wanted the programme to stay because they had heard that the university handed out laptops to FYUP students. “I do not want the old course back. We will not get laptops if it comes back,” said Nisha, the next girl in line.

Some said they had heard that with FYUP, it was impossible to fail and there was hardly any attendance required, and that it was the best news they had heard. “Who comes to college to study? We come here to have fun. And we have heard that we do not really have to work very hard,” said Kannika. This is, of course, not true. The complaint of most students in the FYUP has been that the burden of the additional courses have made them feel like they are still in school. Classes are sometimes held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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