Several reputed arts and sciences colleges in the city, have been denied an increase in their number of seats by the University of Madras, for the first time in about 15 years.
Over the last two decades, the university has always granted these colleges an increase of ten per cent in terms of seats, but this year, over five colleges have been denied the increase.
“An increase of ten per cent, which means 49 more seats can help us accommodate more deserving students,” said an official of Loyola College. Under-graduate admissions are long over by now, but parents and students still throng the campus every day hoping they will manage get a seat. “A few more seats would be of great help,” added the official.
Sources say most members of the University syndicate backed the move. The decision was taken after many of the colleges were found to have more students than the sanctioned limits. “This will also help curb backdoor admissions in many of these colleges,” says a senior member. “Most of them were found to have over 70 students in every class. Preventing this increase can also check malpractices and ensure the strength of students does not go beyond the limit.”
One of the concerns raised at the syndicate meet was how colleges would manage classes with their limited faculty. “Many of the colleges do not take the university’s approval for introducing courses, and most have at least a little over the sanctioned limit of students per class,” a source said.
Institutions where seat increases have been rejected are undoubtedly upset. An official from one reputed colleges said the colleges were not even notified of the reason the increase was denied. “We are wondering if the Syndicate checked on the position of non-minority institutions with regard to class strength,” he asked.
University of Madras Vice-Chancellor G Thiruvasagam, however, said that there was no deliberate attempt to deny them an increase.
“The decision was taken on the basis of the existing strength of students in courses in colleges. We have approved the increase for all those colleges where the number of students is below the sanctioned strength.”