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Experts see no need for more MU colleges, new courses

In 2013, almost 20-30% seats in courses like Bachelor in Mass Media, Bachelor in Management Studies, BCom in Banking & Insurance had gone vacant

mumbai Updated: May 04, 2016 00:56 IST
Shreya Bhandary
The new colleges/courses that are up for approval this year had applied for permissions last year as well. In 2015, the education minister had called for a blanket ban on new colleges or courses, after pointing at thousands of seats that go vacant in engineering, medical as well as other undergraduate courses every year. However this year it is set to change
The new colleges/courses that are up for approval this year had applied for permissions last year as well. In 2015, the education minister had called for a blanket ban on new colleges or courses, after pointing at thousands of seats that go vacant in engineering, medical as well as other undergraduate courses every year. However this year it is set to change(HT)

Educationists are sceptical on whether the University of Mumbai indeed needs more colleges and courses or not after the varsity sent out a perspective plan for 2016-17 to the state government, pushing forward applications for new colleges and courses that need approval.

With over 63 colleges hopeful of getting approval and another few colleges getting approvals for new courses from the government this year, the intake capacity for the next academic year is bound to increase by almost 4,000 seats.

“We have got applications forwarded by the university and based on the demand for the same, approvals will be given. Since the university has already inquired about basic necessities to start a new college, approval for the same should not take much time,” said education minister Vinod Tawde.

Experts, however, have pointed towards thousands of seats that go vacant year after year. “While it’s a known fact that unaided courses (BMS, BMM, BBI, etc) score over vanilla courses such as BCom, BA, it needs to be highlighted that every year, even the unaided courses seats go vacant,” said the principal of a Thane college. While the MU has not released data on the total seats available for admission in the past two years, only figures from 2013 have been made available.

In 2013, almost 20-30% seats in courses like Bachelor in Mass Media, Bachelor in Management Studies, BCom in Banking & Insurance had gone vacant. Similarly, courses like BCom in Financial Management and BSc (computer science) had over 50-60% seats vacant. The trend is unlikely to have changed in the past two years, said academicians.

“Though certain courses are in demand, students are also interested in certain colleges only. Every year, thousands of seats go vacant, especially in not-so-reputable colleges because students opt to get into the top-rung colleges,” said Dr Kiran Mangaonkar, principal of Khalsa College.

He added that while approving new colleges and courses, the university also needs to focus on the demand for courses. “It makes no sense to add on seats, when colleges are already struggling to fill them,” he added.

The new colleges/courses that are up for approval this year had applied for permissions last year as well. In 2015, the education minister had called for a blanket ban on new colleges or courses, after pointing at thousands of seats that go vacant in engineering, medical as well as other undergraduate courses every year. However this year it is set to change.