THE UNIVERSITY of Mumbai will soon set up virtual classrooms in 40 of its colleges. The classrooms will be used to relay live lectures by leading academicians and eminent personalities for students of colleges with limited resources. “The lectures will be recorded in the varsity’s existing virtual classroom at the Kalina campus and telecast live to these colleges,” said MU registrar MA Khan. The aim is to improve the teaching quality in colleges in remote areas.
Forty affiliated colleges, which need infrastructure assistance, have been identified from suburban Mumbai, Ratnagiri and Thane for the project.
“The idea is to make eminent academicians and field experts available to colleges with limited resources or in far-flung areas. The university already has leading academicians and it also intends to invite eminent personalities for lectures,” said Khan. The “eminent personalities” include industry experts and nobel laureates.
The programme is an expansion of the the varsity’s virtual classroom project that is currently used to deliver lectures, workshops and seminars to more than 400 affiliated colleges, mostly in the city, through a virtual learning tool.
As a subsidy to the colleges, the university will bear a one-time cost of Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh to install the virtual classroom units in the colleges. The colleges will thereafter have to pay Rs1.2 lakh annually to maintain the units.
An agency has been appointed to facilitate the functioning of the programme and coordinate with the colleges and the university. While a technical committee in the university will handle the technical details, the guidelines for the programme are yet to be drawn up.
The proposal has been passed by the management council as well as the academic council. Khan said that the varsity has informed the selected colleges and is awaiting their response. Thereafter, the details, including the frequency of the lectures and the selection of speakers, will be chalked out, he said.