Unaided colleges raise demand for new-generation courses

With not many students pursuing higher education outside the State in the present situation, universities in the State have been forced to allot more courses and seats to affiliated colleges. But most of these are traditional ones and not much thought have been put into new-generation courses that may open new horizons for students, says the Kerala Unaided College Principals’ Council.

Recently, Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi, and Calicut universities permitted the colleges to start new courses considering the spurt in demand. Though 80% of the courses are being allotted to the self-financing (unaided) sector, the demand for some diverse courses has been denied, Varghese Mathew, president, said.

“Most students go to other States for job-oriented new-generation courses. But, the top brass in our universities feel they have no scope for employment. People who complete these courses have good job opportunities in foreign countries,” he added.

The council had suggested several new-generation courses such as Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Internet of things, Robotics & Mechatronics, Disaster Management, Green Technology, Genetics, Speech & Learning, Nano Science, Criminology, Sports Medicine, Audiology, Population Studies, Forensic Science, Atmospheric Science, Meteorology, Energy Conservation, Environmental Studies, Behavioural Science, Space Science, Food Science, Yoga & Meditation, Media Engineering, Gender Studies, Remote Sensing, Cyber Laws, and Palliative Medicine.

“The criticism levelled against these courses is that they are specific to a particular field and, hence, do not lead to all-round development of students. Another is that job opportunities are limited. Non-availability of skilled teachers has also been cited,” Prof. Mathew said, adding that he did not agree with any of the arguments but the last one. “Let the colleges find qualified teachers if they are ready to run the courses,” he added.

The council had requested the government and the universities to reconsider the decision as the new-generation courses would equip the students for development in various fields.

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