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May 27, 2009

BU’s novel measures to increase GER !


As per the directive of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to the universities to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) from seven per cent to 15 per cent, Bharathiar University has come out with certain innovative measures.Speaking to presspersons here on Tuesday, Vice-Chancellor G. Thiruvasagam said the measures were put in place taking into consideration the three main reasons for the low GER – duration of the courses being too long and hence economically non-viable, higher education not being affordable and “unemployable education”.

“Since there are many who cannot afford to bear the expenses of even normal college expenses for three years, the concept of post-graduation becomes a difficult proposition for them. For such students the university has come out with a one-year full time post-graduate diploma in 12 programmes. Colleges can choose to offer any of the 12 programmes as regular courses for graduates or as add-on courses for those already pursuing other PG courses,” he said. He added that it would be beneficial from the economic point of view as well as useful for students aspiring to go abroad for pursuing PG courses. “Most of the foreign universities require a four-year undergraduate programme as a criterion from students desirous of taking up a PG programme. Instead of going there and wasting time in doing a bridge course, they can finish this course and directly apply for a PG programme”.

As regards affordability of arts and science education, Mr. Thiruvasagam said that the university has advised all the colleges to contain the fee structure. “We do not have the regulatory authority to question colleges if they prescribe high fees. However, we can pull up colleges who charge exorbitant fees without providing the requisite infrastructure facilities. I have short-listed 10 colleges from where we have received complaints from students regarding lack of even basic amenities. These colleges will be given a year’s time to better their facilities, failing which they will be barred from giving admissions and will be denied course affiliations,” he added. Concerning employable education, he said the courses this year were being revamped to make them application oriented.

Another measure he saw would lead to increase in number of students going towards higher education was the courses being offered through the School of Distance Education.

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