Mumbai university starts admission process; students stress over high cut-off list

Published on Aug 05, 2021 09:16 PM IST

Colleges fear an explosion of high scorers taking over the first three merit lists, leaving very little room for the rest

University of Mumbai.
University of Mumbai.
By, Mumbai

The University of Mumbai (MU) on Thursday started the sale of admission forms, kicking off the admissions process to undergraduate degree courses across its 800-odd, affiliated colleges. With Class 12 results behind them, degree aspirants will now face the difficulty of ensuring admissions in a college and course of their choice. For years, the seat allotment merit lists announced by the university kept throwing a higher cut-off across traditional and self-financed courses, however this year, colleges fear an explosion of high scorers taking over the first three merit lists, leaving very little wiggle room for the rest.

“A few years ago, Delhi University colleges had witnessed their first merit lists ending at 100%, this year it might happen in some Mumbai college as well,” said the principal of a south Mumbai college on condition of anonymity. “With a high number of Class 12 students across boards scoring 90% and above this year, students with scores below 90% will find it tough to bag a seat in any of the top city colleges, especially in self-finance courses,” he added.

Increasing Covid cases forced most school education boards to scrap their Class 12 exams this year and instead assess students based on their performance in Class 10, 11 and 12. The final result brought forward an explosion of students joining the 90% bandwagon. While ICSE and CBSE schools boasted of nearly 50% or more of their Class 12 students scoring above 90-95% this year, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) announced Class 12 results this week and the number of 90% scorers across the state jumped 12-folds compared to last year. For the first time, 46 HSC students also managed to score a perfect 100% this year.

According to MUs admissions schedule, pre-admission registrations will go on till August 14 and colleges will have to complete the in-house and minority quota admissions by August 14 as well. The first open merit list is scheduled to be announced on August 17 this year. “Since in-house quota students will be given first preference for traditional courses (BA, BCom, BSc), there’s a good chance that most colleges will not have a single seat left for outsiders for the general merit list,” said TA Shiware, speaking for the management of Wilson College. He is also the chairman of the Mumbai Association of Non-Government Colleges.

Questions have already been raised regarding the higher number of students clearing Class 12 exams this year compared to previous years. “This automatically means more students will apply for degree colleges. Looking at this issue the Maharashtra government had previously suggested that colleges be allowed to increase their intake capacity to accommodate more students. There is, however, nothing on paper as yet and we are unsure if we are allowed to admit more students,” said Naresh Chandra, principal of Birla College, Kalyan.

This concept of increased intake has been questioned by many experts, especially considering the limited infrastructure available in city colleges. “Increasing intake capacity or adding new divisions for courses means colleges will have to continue this system for the next three years till this batch graduates. While this works fine during online classes, most colleges will run short of space once physical classes begin,” added Shiware, and highlighted that aided colleges are currently also struggling with vacant teacher posts and increasing intake will create problems for colleges.

While most colleges are sure they will have no seats left for open category merit lists after filling up traditional courses with in-house and minority quotas, many fear a high number of admissions withdrawals once merit lists for self-finance courses begin. “Every year students confirm seats in traditional courses as a back-up plan and wait for their names to appear in the merit list of a self-finance course. This year too I fear a large number of seats will go vacant after every round of seat allotment, making the admissions process more chaotic than ever,” said Marie Fernandes, principal of St Andrew’s College, Bandra.


    Shreya Bhandary is a Special Correspondent covering higher education for Hindustan Times, Mumbai. Her work revolves around finding loopholes in the current education system and highlighting the good and the bad in higher education institutes in and around Mumbai.

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