Students have been facing difficulties while writing semester exams for PG courses in other universities

The University of Madras released the final year results for its undergraduate courses in July but students in many autonomous colleges are yet to receive their provisional degree certificates.

Students who do not have them have been facing difficulties while writing semester exams for postgraduate courses in various universities that began last week.

“I studied B.A. psychology at a private college affiliated to University of Madras and joined a university in Madurai for M.A. Now, officials here are not letting me write the semester exam as I don’t have the provisional degree certificate,” said a student.

Universities give concession to students without degree certificates for a year but insist that they have at least a provisional certificate.

“The university of Madras has allowed its postgraduate students to write exams without the provisional certificate, but most other universities do not. They have asked students to get letters from the university, which involves a lot of running around,” said Vidhya Shastri, a parent.

Officials in autonomous colleges explained that the delays were due to the time taken by the university to process the affiliations of many courses this year.

“Though the last date to receive affiliation orders was October 2012, many of us got it only in August. Parents blame the college for not giving provisional certificates to their children but we cannot do anything unless the university finishes the affiliation first,” said a college official. 

Colleges can either opt for continuous affiliation or renew affiliation each year.

An inspection, which is part of the affiliation process, is conducted by committees formed by the university whose conclusions determine the university’s decision. The university, said sources in private institutions, takes more than eight months to inspect and review affiliation, even for existing courses.

“The delay in granting affiliation not only delays admission but also affects students’ prospects when they join other colleges because they don’t have relevant certificates,” said a senior professor in a private college. The issue was raised at the university senate meeting on Saturday. University officials said they are trying to reduce the time taken to grant affiliations and have created a new department to expedite the process.