Allegations resurface against BU’s School of Distance Education

After a lull, allegations have resurfaced against the Bharathiar University’s School of Distance Education (SDE) – that it was illegally conducting courses through private institutes that are outside its jurisdiction in Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.

A letter detailing the allegations that was sent to the Governor-chancellor, Tamil Nadu, University Grants Commission chairman, higher education minister, higher education secretary, vice chancellor and Syndicate members and shared with the media said that the SDE supported private centres outside its jurisdiction offering ‘correspondence courses’, which was against the law.

Sources in the academic fraternity said the University should not run courses through private institutes as it was ineligible to do so on account of its NAAC score. Besides, if it were to offer correspondence courses it should only be from the institutes located within its jurisdiction.

The letter further said that the private institutes for a huge sum forged certificates of students, allowed them to transfer course credits from the courses the students had discontinued, allowed students to write all the three years’ papers at one sitting through open book examination and that the private institutes had admitted over 1,000 students for the 2020 academic year.

The allegations were nothing but malicious, countered the SDE’s Director in-charge P.E. Thomas.

First, the SDE had permitted 38 affiliated colleges and six colleges outside its jurisdiction to offer ‘correspondence courses’ through learner support centres. Therefore there was no question of private institutes offering Bharathiar University’s distance education programmes. There were private institutes but they had not made any admission in the last two years. They only facilitated the students admitted in 2018-19 complete the final year.

As for credit transfer, Mr. Thomas said the SDE’s academic section scrupulously verified records of bona fide students before granting permission.

He said the SDE had made online the admission process for learner support centres to admit students. Only after the academic section’s approval, each selected student could pay the fee required to join a course.

UGC guidelines

As for the SDE permitting six colleges outside its jurisdiction to offer ‘correspondence courses’ through learner support centres, he said the UGC guideline was very clear by allowing universities to permit colleges outside their jurisdiction but within the State to run learner support centres.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 4:19:53 PM |

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