Govt. order on open courses may leave students in lurch

Higher education prospects of thousands of students in north Kerala districts are likely to be affected by the latest government order barring the University of Calicut from inviting applications for courses in open and distance learning and private registration modes.

On an average, around 40,000 to 50,000 students seek admissions, the highest in the State, to these courses a year. They include those who fail to get seats in aided and government colleges because of various reasons and others who cannot afford the high fees in self-financing arts and science colleges. With Plus Two results to be announced on Tuesday, a large number of students are likely to be in the grip of confusion.

The Higher Education department had said in a circular that the four major universities in the State would be able to conduct admissions only if the Sree Narayana Guru Open University did not get recognition from the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) Distance Education Bureau for its distance education courses.

P. Rasheed Ahammed, UDF-aligned Syndicate member, pointed out in a letter to Vice Chancellor M.K. Jayaraj that these students are forced to depend on distance education learning because of fewer number of colleges here, and also due to other socio-economical reasons. If the admission process to distance education programmes is delayed, the students might have to approach private universities. Also, the government had no idea how long it would have to wait till the Sree Narayana Guru Open University gets approval from the UGC, he added.

A.G. Rajeevan, secretary of the Parallel College Association, said that the government had practically narrowed down the possibilities of higher studies for a large group of students to one university now. He alleged that this could also be a move to lure students to self-financing colleges.

Panel meet tomorrow

Sources in the university, meanwhile, said that a panel led by Mr. Jayaraj would soon be formed to request the government to permit the institution to allow admissions to these courses.

The Standing Committee of the Syndicate on distance education will meet on June 22 to discuss this. Chairperson of the committee Ugin Morely told The Hindu on Monday that the highest number of students who seek admissions to distance education courses in the State was in Calicut University. “The UGC’s approval for running these courses is valid for five years. We have four more years left. We are running 14 undergraduate courses and 12 postgraduate courses now. Even if the open university gets UGC sanction, they are likely to get it only for five or six courses because the facilities there are still being readied,” he pointed out.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2022 8:09:26 pm |