Coimbatore

COVID-19 pandemic hits college admissions in Coimbatore

Self-financing arts and science colleges in Coimbatore have approached the Bharathiar University seeking an extension of the deadline to admit students to graduate programmes.

The reason that the colleges have sought extension of the October 10 deadline is that they have been unable to fill seats, says a college secretary and adds that the demand is keeping open the admissions till the month end.

The colleges are citing the Madras University, which has October 30 as the deadline.

The reason for the colleges finding it difficult to fill seats is the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Plus Two result, admission process and the need for maintenance of physical distance and avoiding travel.

The restriction on travel means parents who accompany prospective students are unable to visit campus, interact with the faculty and have a look at hostel if they want one. And, when parents are forced to do all this online, they think it is better to admit students to a nearby institution, the secretary explains.

Echoing similar thoughts, a principal of a government-aided college says her college has not got the usual number of inquiries that it gets from parents from Madurai, Theni, and Ramanathapuram districts who want to admit their children in Coimbatore.

As a consequence, there has been a reduction from over 10 applications for a seat to five.

Another impact of the COVID-19 induced travel restriction is that parents from rural areas who usually prefer to meet face to face with faculty have their doubts cleared and seek suggestion on the right course for their children are unable to do so and feel uncomfortable doing the same over phone.

This is not withstanding the fact that the colleges have helpline on phone, social media platforms, etc.

A principal of a well-known self-financing college says even those colleges that are over 30 years old have taken a hit as only seats in popular courses like commerce and computer science are filled. Seats in physics and mathematics have taken a hit.

A reason for this is the sudden announcement of Plus Two result, forcing colleges to make last-minute arrangements for online admission.

As for colleges that are dependent on students from other districts in the State and Kerala, the problem is that they have been unable to engage agents or open admission offices, given the travel restriction that the governments imposed and the need for e-pass for travel.

This has resulted in at least 20 – 30% seats remaining vacant.

Another college secretary says the opening of government colleges in Thondamuthur, Mettupalayam and Valparai has also had an impact. If the Bharathiar University extends the deadline, the colleges hope to at least 10 to 20 seats more, he adds.

Vice-Chancellor P. Kaliraj says that the colleges are finding it difficult to fill seats and have asked for extension is true. The University will take a call on extension of admission deadline soon, he adds.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 6:26:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/covid-19-pandemic-hits-college-admissions-in-coimbatore/article32827437.ece

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