With fees for professional courses shooting up, poor students are looking at other options

Despite hundreds of professional colleges, both private and government, coming up and marketing attractive courses through exhibitions, counselling sessions, hoardings and other advertisement blitz besides public shows, humanities and pure science courses prove a major attraction, particularly among students from poor families.

This is evident by a large number of students opting for arts and science courses in various city colleges this year, much to the delight of heads of these colleges.

With the Plus Two examination results announced, students queued up at different colleges in the city seeking admission to a course of their choice. The demand for arts courses could be gauged from the fact that in some reputed colleges, police had to be called to regulate the crowd.

Applications seeking admission to arts and science colleges were received in large numbers in Tiruchi, say heads of the college. They believe the courses are low price, consume lesser time than professional courses for study and provide greater employability.

With the demand for engineering courses on the wane, arts and science courses are the preferred choice of many young students. Many students pursue these courses while simultaneously preparing for banking or civil service examinations, say college heads.

While conventional courses such as Commerce, Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry have many takers, demand for other courses such as English literature and Computer Science is encouraging. Geology, Hotel Management, Fashion Technology, Biotechnology and Nutrition and Dietetics are in demand.

K. Anbarasu, principal, National College, said that this year the most popular courses chosen by students were B.Sc. Mathematics, B.Sc. Physics, and B.Sc. Chemistry.

A surprise factor has been the increase in the intake for B.Sc. Geology course in the college. As usual, the seats for B.Com are almost filled up, he said. At Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, there was an overwhelming response for B.A. English Literature in addition to core courses such as B.Sc. Mathematics, B.Sc. Physics, B.Sc. Chemistry, and B.Com.

According to Kanaka Bhashyam, principal of the college, the demand for English was because of bright prospects for placement opportunities.

“While many students are opting for the course, we ensure that only those with basic skills in English language are admitted to the course. We identify students’ talents for other courses,” says the principal.

Seats for courses such as B.A. Economics and B.A. Tamil Literature have been filled up, she adds.

Students seem to know what they want. Many have carefully analysed the courses far earlier. They apply only for specific courses best suited to their interest and talent, says A.M. Mohamed Sindhasha, principal, Jamal Mohamed College. He says there are many takers for B.Sc. Hotel Management, B.Sc. Fashion Technology, B.Sc. Biotechnology, and B.Sc. Nutrition and Dietetics. It is a very positive trend, he adds.

K. Easwari, whose father S. Kathiresan is a civic worker, says arts and science colleges alone cater to the need of the students from poor families. With a mark tally of 945 in the Plus Two examinations, she has found fashion technology to be an attractive course. “Everything is hassle-free – right from admission to academic syllabus.

A few colleges provide concessions in tuition and other fees,” she says with confidence.

Meanwhile, parents, students and arts college managements are in a quandary over the delay in the publication of the CBSE class XII results. While the Plus Two public examination results released on May 9, the CBSE results are yet to be announced, much to the concern of students and parents.

“As the seats in colleges are filled up on ‘first come first served’ basis, the late comers will not be able to get admission to core courses of their choice. This is a big worry for the parents,” says S. Kesavan of Woraiyur whose daughter is awaiting the CBSE results.