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Distance education mode: BDU reaches out to affiliated colleges

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Bharathidasan University is roping in affiliated colleges to increase enrolment in distance education programmes.

The university plans to offer programmes under distance learning mode through the affiliated colleges from the next academic year, to improve gross enrolment ratio in higher education in the eight Central districts of the State. Vice-Chancellor P. Manisankar said the plan was to better utilise manpower and infrastructure of the colleges by conducting classes in the weekends. There were 146 affiliated institutions in the university’s fold, including constituent colleges, and there was enough scope for increasing the student strength substantially, he said.

Enrolment for correspondence courses has fallen sharply in recent years as many distance learning centres of the university in other States and countries had to be closed down after the erstwhile Distance Education Council restricted State universities from offering programmes in distance education mode beyond the boundaries of their respective States.

Enrolment in the Centre for Distance Education (CDE) that was started in 1992 fell drastically, but picked up in the recent years. As many as 8,100 students were admitted into various programmes during 2017-18, taking the total strength to 22,426. However, the university plans to terminate agreements with franchisees offering the distance education programme. And, to offset the impact, the university has evinced interest in starting Learner Support Centres in affiliated colleges.

In a recent circular to Principals of affiliated colleges, the university has sought the willingness of the institutions to start Learner Support Centres. The circular states that the CDE with a regular intake of around 7,000 students every year offered 50 programmes through distance education mode, and that the syllabus for the programmes were on a par with its regular programmes.


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