Chitra V. Ramani

Bangalore: Does an autonomous college offer a better quality of education than a college that is affiliated to Bangalore University?

Parents who can afford the much higher fee structure prefer to send their wards to autonomous colleges as they believe that they are paying for higher standards of teaching and a more up-to-date and rigorous academic programme.

Most principals of autonomous colleges agree that while autonomy has helped them impart quality education, it is wrong to assume that the syllabi of the university are outdated.

Indeed, in any State, it is the university that establishes the benchmarks for higher education.

Refuting the notion that autonomous institutions are superior to university colleges, Vice-Chancellor H.A. Ranganath said, “With more than 600 affiliated colleges, Bangalore University is one of the biggest educational institutions.

It is, of course, difficult to conduct examinations and announce results in time.

Unfortunately, the public has misconceptions about the university,” he said.

Prof. Ranganath said that it is not fair to compare a single institution to a university.

“The comparison should be among equals. An autonomous institution probably caters to about 1,000 students. The university has to attend to the needs of the students in the 600 affiliated colleges,” he said.

About the difference in the syllabi levels, he said that the autonomous colleges offer an extension of what is offered by the university.

“We cannot make it advanced because we cater to students from rural and urban areas,” he added.