‘Low-income Muslims less likely to opt for higher education’

Former UGC chairman addresses MANUU’s 25th Foundation Day lecture

January 09, 2022 11:42 pm | Updated 11:42 pm IST - HYDERABAD

There are internal disparities among Muslims in attainment of higher education based on income-level, gender and medium of education, and institutions like Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) must give preference to such groups through scholarships, differential fee structure, hostel facility and remedial coaching classes.

This view was expressed by former chairman of University Grants Commission, Sukhdeo Thorat while delivering a lecture on ‘Where do Muslims lag behind in higher education?: Lessons for policies’ at MANUU’s 25th Foundation Day on Sunday.

He said Muslims had the lowest Gross Enrolment Ratio (16.6%) in higher education among all the communities in the country while the national average was 26.3%. Muslim students depend highly on government institutions (54.1%) as compared to other communities (national average 45.2%). Only 18.2% go to private aided higher education institutions and 27.4% to private unaided higher education institutions against a national average of 24.4% and 30.1% respectively. Private aided and unaided higher education institutions are mostly English medium professional colleges, and Muslims have less access to those institutions, said Mr. Thorat.

He further said that research shows Muslims students from Hindi or Urdu medium have less probability of getting higher education than those who are from English medium. He suggested higher education institutions like MANUU must provide English language support to students from economically weaker sections.

Mr Thorat also exhorted MANUU to start special courses and diplomas, especially through distance mode, to promote production enterprises and business or trade. This will reduce drop-out rate among Muslims, which is 15.6% compared to the national average of 12.6%, he pointed out.

University Vice-Chancellor Syed Ainul Hasan, in his presidential address, termed Mr Thorat’s lecture as an eye-opener and a perfect curtain raiser for the silver jubilee celebrations. He further said that MANUU is developing coordination with other institutions and experts to tackle these issues, he added.

Pro Vice-Chancellor S.M Rahmatullah threw light on the objectives of the university and background of its establishment. He also underlined Mr Thorat’s role in the development of MANUU, in its initial years, during his tenure as UGC chairman.

A special montage prepared by the Instructional Media Centre was also released to mark the beginning of silver jubilee celebrations. In-charge registrar Siddiqui Mohd. Mahmood also spoke.

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