Stigma stays: Restarted KSOU gets few takers for its courses

Bengaluru: The Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) may have got back its University Grants Commission (UGC) recognition to resume courses from the academic year 2018-19, but the stigma of earlier de-recognition remains.

The number of applications this year has been much lower than what it was prior to 2015, when it was decrecognised. This time there were only 8,395 applications for 17 non-technical courses, while in 2014-15 it was 41,000 applications for 68 courses,

Going by the response, KSOU Vice-Chancellor D. Shivalingaiah has said the deadline for applications have now been extended to October 20.

According to Shivalingaiah, the varsity failed to get the expected number of applications this academic year as the admission process faced unprecedented delays.

“Admissions were scheduled to begin on July 1, but instead we could begin them only from August 27. At least 15,000 to 20,000 students were expected to apply, but we are hopeful of more applicants in the coming days,” he said. He added that the varsity will now approach UGC to extend the date to a few more days if possible.

The varsity was derecognised by the UGC in June 2015 for violating jurisdiction and other guidelines. This has shown the varsity in bad light which directly implicates the reason behind the low demand for admissions to various courses, said a higher education department official, on condition of anonymity.

Derecognition cost Rs 90 crore
On the adverse impact of decregonition, varsity officials said that KSOU suffered losses of Rs 90 crore. “The university had no revenue for those years and utilised its corpus fund for all expenses, the major share being spent on staff salaries. While the corpus was Rs 590 crore in 2015, it is now reduced to Rs 500 crore,” the V-C said.

Fee discount to boost admissions
In a bid to encourage admissions, KSOU has now decided to offer a 50% discount to students who were admitted in those two academic years and want to enrol again for the current year. The varsity also announced that women from BPL families would also get a discount of 25%. 

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