Updated: September 17, 2021 4:19:45 am
‘Admissions are open for first-year undergraduate courses. No cut-off criteria, direct admissions on first come first serve basis’: this is the notice plastered across the websites of most colleges in Pune. While such notices aren’t unusual during admissions season, principals and managements of colleges say this year, the appeal is falling on deaf ears.
Barring top city institutions, most colleges in the city are finding it difficult to fill their divisions since admission seekers, especially for Arts and Science courses, are few.
Principals blame the Covid-19 pandemic, because of which many students have moved back to their hometowns or are now unable to pay fees.
Sanjay Kharat, principal of Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Ganeshkhind Road. said the admission levels were low this year, prompting him to re-issue an advertisement for admissions, hoping to attract students.
“Since NEET was recently conducted, I am hoping that if students didn’t do well there or have changed their mind, they will be interested in pursuing traditional degree courses. The situation for Commerce admissions isn’t that bad but with such a high number of pass-outs in Class 12, we can’t understand this lack of response for undergraduate admissions. The pandemic can be the only reason since many students have migrated back to their hometowns with families or are interested in technical, job-oriented courses,” he said.
Principal Sudhakar Jadhavar, who runs several institutes under the Jadhavar Group of Institutes, said even incentives are failing to attract students.
“We announced a scheme of Rs 1,000… our students can come and confirm their admissions for only that amount. If they have any pending fees from last year or are unable to pay for the current year, we will work it out later through instalments or scholarships, but even then there aren’t enough students seeking admissions. I have 500 seats for Arts, Science and Commerce, of which only 15 per cent have been taken. Actually, our Class 12 students have not yet taken their leaving certificates and marksheets, so how will they proceed for further admissions,” he said.
Some educationists even blamed the Maharashtra government for the state of affairs.
“Last year, they kept saying no need to pay your fees, don’t force students or send constant reminders. As a result, even people who could pay fees, even if partially, did not do so. The fee collection wasn’t more than one-fourth for most educational institutes last year. Maybe that’s why the students are not taking further admissions since they fear they will be asked to clear their arrears. But the state government seriously needs to look into this situation as admission numbers are very low across colleges, especially in rural and semi-rural areas, with educational institutions on the brink of shutting down. And the bigger question is, where did these students go,” said Nandkumar Nikam, senior educationist and former president of the state principal’s forum.
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