THE INSTITUTE of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) of the University of Mumbai, one of the biggest sources of income for the university, has received considerably less number of applications from students this year. Of the 67,930 applicants registered this year for the courses offered by IDOL, only 53,832 have confirmed their applications. Last year, over 1 lakh applications had been received and 80,000 students secured admissions. In the 2015-16 academic year, over 80,000 students had taken admission to the 35 courses offered by the university’s distance learning institute.
An official from IDOL said this year the number of applications had dropped by almost half, despite extending the last date of application thrice. As a result, he said, fewer students were expected to take admissions this year.
The official said the drop in the number of applications was because of the delay in declaration of the results of students.
“Many are still waiting for their results or have applied for re-evaluation. They may not have applied yet,” said the official. As of now, the last date for application is October 31 and it will soon be extended to November 15 to accommodate students who are awaiting the re-evaluation results, said the official.
The drop in the number of admissions will have serious implications on the university’s dwindling finances. The IDOL offers 35 courses and the annual fees for those range from Rs 3,000 to Rs16,000. While the fee for a BA course is Rs 3,230, the more sought-after courses like BSc and IT cost Rs 16,210.
“Earlier, the revenue generated from the fees was surplus for the upkeep and development of IDOL and would contribute to the university’s budget. However, it appears that this year’s revenue will just about meet the requirements of the IDOL,” said the official.
On an average, the annual income from IDOL is around Rs 30 crore, a significant amount compared to an estimated budget of over Rs 500 crore.