For every seat in Delhi University, there are five candidates lined up. As seats in DU become more elusive every year, students now count on private universities that offer emerging disciplines with fancy facilities at much lower cutoffs. Many of these universities have seen a steady jump in the number of applications received every year and students are applying to them for admission as their first choice.
“Over last five years, there has been a 50% increase in the number of students applying to various programmes. We have already received 50,000 applications for undergraduate courses this year,” said Sunita Singh, dean, admission and examination, Amity University, Noida. Amity has 9,000 seats in over 150 undergraduate courses admission to which is based either on class XII score or the university’s own entrance test.
Singh added that the number and quality of central universities is limited and students have started exploring options in private universities without waiting for DU to turn them away. “We offer much better disciplines. There has been much hue and cry about the Credit-based Choice System in DU. We had started it last year and it is working quite well,” Singh said.
Faculty from abroad, fancy and hi-tech classrooms, assured placements and feasible selection criteria ensure students do not miss the charm of a central university. But while all the other things are comparable, most of the private universities popping up in Noida, Gurgaon and further away have sky-high fees. Ashoka University, for instance, that was established in Kundli last year charges `4.9 lakh per year for an undergraduate course. A DU college charges not more than `50,000 annually.
“But we are extremely conscious that the education we provide in not restricted to those who can afford it. So we give scholarships. Of the 133 students in our founding batch, 88 are on some kind of scholarship. Twenty of them, in fact, get a full scholarship,” said Vineet Gupta, co-founder, Ashoka University.
The university has received 2,000 applications so far, of which about 300 students will be selected. “Last year, our students had got through LSR and St Stephen’s but they chose to join Ashoka,” said Gupta. Uttara Chaudhuri, who studied at Shri Ram School and chose to go to Ashoka, added, “I was very sure I did not want to go to DU. At 17, when you are right out of school, it’s difficult to choose one course of study. Here, I had originally taken admission in literature and Computer Science. But I think I will do something along the lines of Political Science and Philosophy.”
Galgotias University in Greater Noida, established in 2011, too has been getting many Delhi students in its professional courses. Half the number of students come from Delhi NCR here.
“Students should not opt for an institution just by watching TV ads or full page advertisements in newspapers. They should check the placement records of the institution, the faculty profile and ask existing students and alumni about their experience. The students should also check for the required government recognitions before applying for any private university or college,” said Kiran Verma, spokesperson, Galgotias University.