From next year by Kerala university

From the next academic year, Kerala University (KU) will introduce semester system for degree courses offered in the distance education mode and do away with the private stream.

A Syndicate meeting of the Distance Education Monitoring committee, chaired by Pro Vice-Chancellor N. Veeramanikandan two days ago, decided to introduce the semester system and make it compulsory for all students other than those in regular colleges to register directly with the School of Distance Education on the university campus or the Learner Support Centres.

A difference

The decision was taken after an assessment by the university found that students in the distance education mode fared badly when it came to admission to postgraduate courses.

Regular students got better marks, partly because of internal marks, said a faculty member of the School of Distance Education. With the introduction of semester system, the university aims at bridging this gap.

R.S. Sasi Kumar, member of the Syndicate, told The Hindu that around 60 per cent of enrolment in degree courses was as private candidates, through parallel colleges.

The marks to be given as internal assessment for distance education candidates would be decided after further deliberations, he added.

For licence

“The university plans to invite applications from qualified candidates for setting up at least 60 more Learner Support Centres, within the jurisdiction of the university. Those running parallel colleges too could apply for the licence,” he said. More than 130 LSCs were already functioning in the State.

Permits to be cancelled

As the University Grants Commission was against running off-campus programmes in areas outside the universities’ jurisdiction, the Syndicate meeting decided to cancel the permits given to 12 persons to open centres in Gulf countries.

The Rs.2 lakh collected from the applicants as licence fee would be returned. In 2010, the university had decided to open centres in Doha, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait.