MU’s IDOL sees a dip in enrolment

ByNiraj Pandit
Jan 16, 2023 12:45 AM IST

Mumbai: University of Mumbai’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) has reported a decline in the number of admissions over the years

Mumbai: University of Mumbai’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) has reported a decline in the number of admissions over the years.

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The university’s distance education wing provides an option of studying alongside working to many students with poor financial backgrounds. However, due to several issues like lack of study centres, delayed book distribution and faculty recruitment, several students are not willing to take admissions.

Compared to the last academic year, the number of admissions has been reduced by 2,000. In 2021-22, 62,000 students took admission whereas in 2022-23, the enrolment was at 60,000. In 2019-20 and 2020-21, 64,000 and 62,000 had taken admissions, respectively. Whereas, the IDOL had registered 80,000 students in 2016.

Vaibhav Thorat, a senior senate member of MU, said, “The reach of the university is spread in large areas like Mumbai city, its suburbs, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. However, a variety of issues such as faculty recruitment and students not receiving books on time is contributing to declining student numbers.”

Thorat, who has been advocating for IDOL centres in MU senate meetings for the past seven years, added, “The university administration is consistently ignoring my demand. While the university is making efforts to provide IDOL facilities, the administration does not have the mindset to start centres in colleges and institutions.”

Santosh Rane, a student from Palghar rural area, said, “We have MU sub-centre, but only for book distribution facilities. For other issues, I need to visit Kalina campus, which takes me three hours of travelling. Only if the university’s IDOL section at the sub-centre could provide other facilities like lecture and marksheet distribution and other facilities, more students will join IDOL.”

An official from IDOL said, “Study materials are distributed to students from six sub-centers in Mumbai, Thane, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Palghar and Raigad. A proposal for the expansion of study centres is under consideration and the numbers will increase soon. An initiative to provide virtual classrooms to students has been started from the e-content centre. Apart from this, we also send video links of lectures to students through Telegram.”

The students have also complained about unavailability of study material. Recently, Sachin Pawar, a member of Yuva Sena (BSS) had written a letter to the vice-chancellor about IDOL students not receiving study material on time.

On this, the IDOL official said, “Study material for the first and second year are available. Third year and MA courses have been introduced in the semester system for the first time. Third year and MA students were given study materials for some subjects. Soft copies of the study materials of the remaining subjects have been provided to them. The study materials of the remaining subjects will be provided to the students soon.”

Meanwhile, several students are choosing Yashwantrao Chavan Open University (YCMOU) over MU’s IDOL. “One of my friends moved to YCMOU due to a lack of facilities at IDOL,” Rane added.

The YCMOU has 800 study centres in Mumbai city, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri, while the IDOL has around 100 centres.

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