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Private varsities plan expansion, new courses to address high UG cut-off

There are several students who despite scoring a decent percentage could not make it to the high DU cut-offs and are now heading towards private colleges in Delhi-NCR. 

Owing to the Covid-19, the CBSE and several state boards didn’t conduct the board exams this year resulting in the declaration of results based on special assessments. Hence, the class 12 results this year surpassed several records with a maximum number of students securing above 95 per cent marks in class 12.

With such inflated scores, government universities witnessed a surge in the number of applicants. This year, Delhi University received 1,70,186 applications against the 70,000 seats for undergraduate courses.

As a result, at least 6 Delhi University colleges, including SRCC and Hindu College, pegged a 100 per cent cut-off for admission to some undergraduate programmes. Even after the release of five cut-offs and two special drive cut-off, the required percentage has not budged below 95 per cent for popular courses whereas several colleges have closed admissions.

Similarly,  many colleges at Mumbai Universitywitnessed a 10-13 percentage point increase in cut-offs. At Jai Hind College, a total of 5,513 applications were received for 60 seats to get admission in the popular Bachelor in Management Studies (BMS) course, the college official informed.

The University of Rajasthan also admitted the students at a 100 per cent cut-off this year. For BCom (Pass), the first merit list admitted students with class 12 marks between 100 per cent to 95 per cent. The fifth merit list released for the course didn’t see much change as only two students were admitted to BCom (Pass) course at 96 and 93.80 per cent.

With such high cut-offs and a limited number of seats at government universities, students are now seeking admissions to private universities.

At private universities, rise in 90% scorer applicants

Aashna Mendiratta, a Noida resident, scored 95.5 per cent in CBSE Class 12 exams. Mendiratta was planning to study BA Economics (H) from any of the DU colleges but couldn’t make it to any of the good colleges in the five cut-offs.

“I was hopeful of getting into any of the reputed off-campus colleges since campus colleges usually have a higher cut-off for this course. But this year, even off-campus colleges have sky-high cut-offs. Therefore, I took admission to the BCom programme at Motilal Nehru College,” Mendiratta told indianexpress.com.

There are several other students who despite scoring a decent percentage could not make it to the high cut-offs at government universities and are now heading towards private colleges.

Sharda University in Greater Noida this year has received 30 per cent more admission inquiries, claims the admission departments. “Around 2.25 lakh students enquired for various undergraduate programmes offered by the university as compared to 1.75 lakh inquiries last year. The number of students registering for the admission process has almost doubled this year,” Rajeev Gupta, director admission department, Sharda University told indianexpress.com.

“There has also been an increase in the number of 90 per cent scores especially from the CBSE board applying to the university. Moreover, as Sharda University inducts students based on the entrance exam, more students are participating in the admission process here,” Gupta added.

Bharath Institute of Higher Education and Research (BIHER), Chennai has observed a nearly 50 per cent increase in applicants. As the institute conducts a special entrance exam for UG admissions, the cut-offs for popular cases have hiked this year due to more number of applications.

“The institution conducts annual all India entrance exam and this year too, inflated board scores and cut-offs didn’t directly affect our admissions process. However, the entrance exam cut-offs did cite some changes for courses like BTech CSE and ESE. The cut-off this year is slightly higher — 72 per cent and 65 per cent as against 65 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively,” Dr R Hariprakash, additional registrar, BIHER said.

Similarly, Amity University Mumbai has also observed a surge in the number of students applying to the university this year.

Varsities plan increase in seats

Flame Univesity, Pune has expanded the number of seats in undergraduate courses citing an increase in the number of students applying to the university.

“We have seen a surge in applications from students who have scored very well. The number of seats this year is up from last year, and we’re seeing an upward trend year on year in applications. Some of the popular majors include Finance, Economics, Psychology, Public policy and International studies,” an admissions official informed.

KL University, Hyderabad has also planned an expansion of seats in the high-demand courses. The university has identified a huge interest of students in Artificial Intelligence and Data Sciences, whereas in non-engineering streams Business analytics in management courses have drawn students’ interest.

“We plan to increase the number of seats as we are seeing increasing demand not only for engineering courses but also for management, sciences and humanities courses this year. A 10 per cent of seats have been increased in Computer Science Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering and select Management, Humanities and Sciences (MHS) programmes this year,” G Pardha Saradhi, VC of KL University informed.

Whereas, Jindal Global University, Haryana is now witnessing a surge in applications for the undergraduate programmes. The university began its admissions process much before the board results were declared, as the university conducts its own entrance exam for the UG admissions.

“The undergraduate admissions were wrapped up around July and sessions began in mid-August. However, as per UGC guidelines we have kept the admission window open and more students have approached the varsity for admissions post the release of DU cut-offs,” Upasna Mahanta, Dean, JGU admissions office told indianexpress.com.

Asked about the expansion of seats citing the rising number of applicants, Ashwani Awasthi, MD, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University,  said, “The seat allocation will be revised only after analysing the situation of at least last 3 to 4 years. Since CBSE has introduced a new board exam pattern, it is to see how students adapt and score as per the new criteria.”

Interest in job oriented courses rise

A global survey conducted by INTO University Partnerships states that 67 per cent of Indian Gen Z students think that a university’s capability to give them the skills they need for their future is more important than their rankings hence driving more students towards private universities.

At Amity University, apart from the usual courses, the students are also enquiring about unconventional programmes.

“Enquiries on unconventional programmes like real-estate management, logistics management, BBA international trends is also high this year as students show more interest in skill-based and job-oriented courses,” Awasthi from Amity Univesity said.

While FLAME University has added new interdisciplinary majors like Data Science and Economics, Computer Science and Design and Design Management, taking the total number of major offerings from 21 to 24.

“The decision on expansion in the number of seats was due to the rise in a number of applicants for admissions as well as the rise in demand for such programs which help equip the next generation with requisite skills and knowledge that ignite imagination in this rapidly changing environment,” a university official informed.

Bharath Institute of Higher Education and Research (BIHER), Chennai has introduced B Tech Defense Technology, B Tech Computer Science with specialisation in Artificial intelligence, Data Security, Machine Learning. Apart from engineering, it has launched these courses at BSc level – which include BSc Data Science and BSc Data Analytics.

CollegeDekho, an education services provider that is connecting students to colleges and universities has also reported a rise in the number of applicants applying for job-oriented courses this year.

“We have seen a surge in applications for BCA (by 28.35 per cent) and BSc in Agriculture (by 22.8 per cent) as compared to 2020. We have also observed an increase in applicants for courses like B.Pharm, BSc in Biotechnology, BSc in Nursing as compared to 2020.” Ruchir Arora, Founder & CEO, CollegeDekho shared.

“The employment situation seen through the pandemic has changed the criteria of course selection for the students resulting in increased intake for select courses at multiple universities. Increased admissions in streams like Information Technology (63.42 per cent), Paramedical (42.07 per cent), Pharma (22.93 per cent), Management (16.48 per cent), Commerce and Banking (15.34 per cent) saw a steep rise in student preference as compared to previous years which could have led to the universities increasing their batch sizes.” he further added

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