Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has on offer 60 new certificate, advanced certificate, PG certificate, diploma, and bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees.
These programmes are being offered through IGNOU's Schools of Performing and Visual Arts; Social Work; Extension and Development Studies; Tourism and Hospitality Service Sectoral Management; Gender and Development Studies; Vocational Education and Training; and Law.
Such skill-oriented programmes serve as value addition for students to build their employability, M. Shanmugam, Regional Director of IGNOU's Madurai Regional Centre, said on Thursday, at a promotional meet at Bishop Heber College, where the university's study centre functions.
Open and distance learning system has evolved well with technology integration in the forms of e-learning, mobile learning, web-based learning, gyan darshan, and gyan vani. The university was reaching out to a large number of higher education aspirants as a means to expanding the gross enrolment ratio in higher education and enhancing employability, Mr. Shanmugam said. With 32 lakh students in its fold, IGNOU, known for its e-resource base and quality programmes with inbuilt flexibility, has 50 partner institutions across the world.
He released the common prospectus and handed over the first copy to the college vice principal C.J. Vijayan Kanagaraj in the presence of Deputy Regional Director of IGNOU Madurai Regional Centre, and J. Godwin Premsingh, coordinator, Tiruchi Study Centre at Bishop Heber College.
Later talking to presspersons, Mr. Shanmugam said the convergence programmes leading to additional qualifications for students were now being patronised well by colleges.
So far, 120 inmates of the central jails in Madurai, Tiruchi, and Coimbatore have enrolled for IGNOU's programmes offered free of cost to them, he said, adding that the special study centres at the jails would enrol more number of candidates in the coming academic year.
Under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, the IGNOU was training 1,200 special education teachers every year through a tie-up with Rehabilitation Council of India. In the 17 districts under the jurisdiction of Madurai Regional Centre, IGNOU has tie-ups with 30 community colleges to offer industry-oriented programmes, he said.
Mr. Godwin Premsingh said there was high demand for IGNOU's programmes in creative writing, business skills and NGO management at the Tiruchi Centre, and apprised the student gathering about a new certificate in entrepreneurship programme.