Chennai: Vice chancellors of different state open universities, including Tamil Nadu Open University, met in Chennai on Friday to discuss ways to make their programmes more effective and attract more students.
While their thrust was on opening more online programmes, the UGC had discouraged all open universities from going in for online courses. The UGC decision was discussed at the meet, with most representatives expressing their disappointment with the regulatory body’s guideline .
Manjulika Srivastav of Indira Gandhi National Open University said UGC in a letter of recognition had stated that no online programme could be offered in open and distance-learning programme and it did not recognise such courses. “It is a very regressive step. The ministry of human resource development team came to our university and we made this point clear that future policy means we will have to integrate technology. Students should also be able to switch from one mode to another,” she said. Given the UGC’s stand, how can the open universities proceed, she asked.
The purpose of today’s meet was more to promote online courses, but if UGC showed such a kind of attitude, it was contradictory to the purpose of the meet. “When a student is subscribing to online courses, there is much more precision and accuracy unlike a student taking down notes when a professor is dictating,” she said.
There are 14 state open universities and one national open university. Explaining how to make open university programmes more effective, S.C. Garg, former pro-vice chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University, advised other universities to put their expertise together rather than reinventing everywhere. “Some universities can choose their areas of expertise what is available with them on hand or what they can obtain from outside,” he said. Vice chancellors also complained there was no national level framework or norms for open universities.