Despite the state approving 22 new junior colleges, adding 7,000 seats to the Class 11 admission process this year, college cut-offs could remain high. Experts fear students will opt for seats only in reputed colleges and ignore the new ones, causing cut throat competition for Class 11.
More than 3.3 lakh students who appeared for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams from Mumbai and Thane will compete for nearly 2.72 lakh seats.
“The number of students will continue to rise as non-state board students and students from other states and countries will also apply for these seats,” said TA Shiware, principal of KPB Hinduja College, Charni Road.
Additional seats from the new junior colleges, is not the solution, said college principals. “Every student wants admission to a top college. Students are wary of trying out new colleges because they are unsure of its quality. Unless this mentality changes, cut-offs will continue to rise,” said Shiware.
He added students do not prefer colleges attached to schools as they want to experience campus life.
In 2011, nearly 66,000 seats mostly in lesser known colleges were left vacant at the end of online admissions. In 2012, the department had cancelled nearly 5,000 seats from colleges that received very few applications.
“To prevent this, it's mandatory in online admissions for students to list a minimum of five preferences of colleges attached to secondary schools in their option form. Students also have to list 15 preferences in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and in their respective zones,” said Tushar Desai, principal of DG Ruparel College, Matunga.
This year, admissions to bifocal subjects will be also conducted offline, towards the end of the online process.