THE SAVITRIBAI Phule Pune University (SPPU) has recorded the highest number of admissions in external students this year. As per the officials at the university, fresh admissions have crossed 18,600 this year, as compared to about 13,000 admissions recorded last year. Officials at the SPPU’s external students’ section confirmed that it was the highest number of admissions registered in the past few years.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai University had recently reported a considerable drop in the number of admissions in its distance education courses. According to SPPU authorities, this year, 18,692 students registered for first-year courses, as compared to 13,607 registrations last year. The same number was 14,338 in 2015 and 8,230 — its lowest so far — in 2013.
Asked about the jump in the numbers, authorities said it could be multifactorial. One of the main reasons, they said, could be the slashing of fees for external students. In July this year, the academic council of SPPU had passed a resolution on reducing the fees of external courses by nearly one-third.
The move was in response to the recommendations of a committee set up by the varsity — formed after receiving several complaints from students regarding fees hike. Students had claimed that the fees was high, taking into account the fact that the university did not provide study material.
Shivaji Ahire, head of external students section, said, “The fees could be one of the reasons for the increase in the number of admissions. We would like to believe that the rise is mainly contributed by the student-friendly initiatives the department has taken — from addressing student issues to ensuring that they get their required certificates and providing urgent facilities. A positive approach towards students, such as constant reminders about filling forms or submitting documents, could also be attributed to the rise.”
Asked if the drop in the number of students registered at the Mumbai University this year, which is said to be a fall-out of the varsity’s failed paper correction system, could have led to the increase in footfall at SPPU, Ahire said it could not be ascertained.
“When students take admissions we don’t really check from which part of the state they belong to. So, we don’t know yet. However, a lot of students from Thane and Karjat have taken admission here,” he added.