Mumbai University: MU’s sought-after self-financed courses like BMM, BMS, or even BAF (B Com accounting and finance) may soon be accessible in the distance mode. The university’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) is not only aiming to start new programs in the distance mode, but it is also looking at providing these courses online.
However, The plan has been drafted at a time when the University Grants Commission (UGC) has started recognizing online degrees on account of the pandemic and also to liberalize higher education.
Most of the courses recently offered by IDOL are traditional programs. At the UG level, the institute offers BCom, BA, BSc, and B Sc-IT and at PG level M Com, MA, MCA, MSc-IT, and MSc-Mathematics.
BMS and BAF find maximum takers in colleges affiliated to the university with applications collected usually over 10 times the number of seats available. IDOL director, Prakash Mhanwar said with IDOL planning to take these courses to the online mode, candidates from across the country can benefit.
He said it will also enable students to pursue these courses if they are not able to take admission it the merit list. A major overhaul is in the channel, with courses changing from annual to the semester-based pattern.
Mhanwar said at PG level too, IDOL is likely to propose a slew of courses (see box) in alliance with the Mumbai university departments once the UGC gives a nod.
These specialized programs will allow more candidates. He said classroom teaching and projects are valuable in these programs. It will be a difficult proposition for IDOL adding these self-financed programs are also revenue generators for many colleges and their cash flow may take a hit.
Moreover, IDOL is also aiming to offer 8-10 certificate programs, including a few courses in collaboration with the Bombay Stock Exchange and MU’s department of journalism. For a certificate course in radio jockeying, IDOL is modernizing the university’s campus radio channel, MUST, which had gone off a few years ago.
UGC is currently permitting new programs in distance mode or even in the online format only after universities fulfill all requirements. The director said IDOL will have to seek permission from the university and the UGC to launch these programs, adding they have already initiated the process.