Mumbai: Mumbai University is in two minds to allow students to pursue the dual degree scheme which was started in 2010-2011. This programme had given students an opportunity to simultaneously pursue two degrees at one time – one from any regular college and the other from University of Mumbai’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL).
Though the University Grants Commission (UGC) indicated closing down of this scheme January 2016, the officials at University of Mumbai are still in ‘two minds.’ The varsity officials are yet to take a final call on this issue. Meanwhile, the IDOL, that used to provide second degree to the students simultaneously, has stopped accepting applications for the academic year of 2018-2019.
The UGC in its circular of January 2016, had clarified, “The responses received so far do not endorse the idea of allowing the students to pursue two degrees at the same time. Therefore, the universities shall conduct their programmes in accordance with the First Degree and Master Degree Regulations, 2003.” Despite this circular, the University of Mumbai continued the scheme for one more year (2017-2018) though now senior officials from the varsity said they are reconsidering this decision.
“We are still in the thinking process before taking a final decision (closing the dual degree programme) on this,” a senior official, who did not wish to be named, told Free Press Journal. Officials at the IDOL confirmed they have stopped accepting fresh applications for the new academic year. “We have stopped inviting fresh applications for the dual degree programme since the higher authorities have almost decided to shut the scheme. The decision would soon be made public,” an official from IDOL confirmed.
According to officials from IDOL, one of the reasons for the low response to this programme has been the extreme lack of awareness about the scheme among students. IDOL officials claim they regularly sent out notices to the affiliated colleges, but blamed teachers for not informing the students about this dual degree scheme.
Students have expressed shock over the sudden decision to wrap up the ‘meaningful’ programme, even before they could explore it. Adiba Salmani (19) a Bachelors of Mass Media (BMM) student said, “I or my class mates were not aware of a provision like this one. We were never informed of this scheme, even by our college. It feels sad to know before this scheme reached out to us its likely to shut down.” “I would have applied for a bachelor’s degree in psychology apart from Mass Media degree course had I known it existed. Till now I was not even aware I could have pursued two streams from different colleges,” Salmani added.