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Gates thrown open

With a host of professional courses being offered in collaboration with CII, Genpact and now Scotland’s Telford College, the Campus of Open Learning is helping students gain entry into the corporate sector Vimal Chander Joshi reports

education Updated: Mar 17, 2010 09:25 IST
Vimal Chander Joshi

When he failed to get admission to any good Delhi University college after his Class XII Boards, Sachin Sharma joined the School of Open Learning (SOL) and is at present a second year student of the BCom programme.

Hoping for a media career after completing this course, Sharma has also enrolled in a six-month course offered by the Centre for Professional and Technical Training at Keshavpuram.

Like other DU colleges, the Campus of Open Learning (COL) – the umbrella body of SOL – also helps students further their career prospects.

With a new centre planned for Tahirpur in north Delhi, COL is geared to expand and will provide students with computers (more than a 100, with Internet connectivity), a reading room, a library and 20 classrooms. Though the centre at north campus has some of these facilities, the new centre will cater to a higher number of students.

There are more than three lakh students in the five Bachelor’s programmes and an equal number of Master’s programmes in SOL. Also on offer are 27 short-term professional courses, including software application development, mass communication, retail management, insurance, web designing, travel and tourism, air fare and ticketing, etc. “Studying at a private institute is expensive and most of those courses are long-term. At COL, we can learn and get a certificate very quickly, in six months. We also get the opportunity to win a trip to a British university on completing the course,” says Harsh Bhatia, a second year student of BA (English) honours, who is also doing a course in web designing.

Programmes: COL offers BA honours (English, political science), BA, BCom and BCom honours programmes, and 27 short-term programmes taught at the Keshavpuram Centre. The latest offering is a certificate course in web design and animation, which is a UK-India Education and Research Initiative. Four students will get to visit Scotland’s Telford College. Among PG programmes, the SOL offers MCom, MA (Hindi, political science, history, Sanskrit)

Infrastructure: The centre at the north campus, which is known as SOL, offers library facility and classroom coaching for 20 days in a year as part of the personal contact programme. The other centre at Keshavpuram, started just two years ago, has good infrastructure and boasts of a computer lab for web design and medical transcription students.

The campus officials are quite ambitious about contact classes and have made arrangements for an estimated 20 per cent of the total number of students. “We aim to provide 10 venues in different parts of the city, each accommodating around 1,000 students under the personal contact programme,” says Dr NK Aggarwal, deputy director, SOL and associate professor, faculty of commerce.

Found on campus: “I wanted a media career but wasn’t sure of the institute I should apply to. A poster at the SOL gates informed me that COL also runs a course in TV journalism and broadcasting. Had I known it earlier, I would have enrolled for it in the first year,” says Sakshi Raina, final year student of BA (English) hons.

Factfile
Earlier known as the School of Correspondence Courses and Continuing Education when it started in 1962 with 900 students on its rolls, COL enrolled more than two lakh students in the 2006-2007 academic session.

Students here also get Delhi University certification. There is not much difference in the course curricula followed by the SOL and other constituent colleges and departments of DU. The School established its south study centre at Moti Bagh during the 1990-91 academic session and has started the process of opening study centres at Tahirpur and Karkardooma.