Slump in demand for science courses, both at UG and PG levels

Mumbai: Students of Mumbai University (MU) claim they are keen on commerce and management courses, as opposed to Science and Technology. Teachers fear they will have to change jobs and teach professional courses, as there is a dip in science enrolments.

As the academic year 2019-20 gets under way, it is clear very few students have enrolled for Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Master of Science (MSc) courses. Hiral Majetia, a teacher said, Students are opting for engineering and related technical courses. But they are not keen about the regular undergraduate (UG) or postgraduate (PG) programmes in science.

Not just the MU, it is the same story at the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL), which received a large number of applicants for commerce and management. A senior MU official said, Of the total 67,000 applicants, over 42,498 students have applied for Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) and Master of Commerce (MCom). Also, courses like management, marketing and business administration are in demand, as we have received several applications.

Teachers fear they will have to apply for jobs in professional or self-financing courses at the UG- and PG-levels. Mikael Flanagan, a teacher, said, Some of us are teaching a class of just 20 to 30 students at the UG level. Each year, the number of students is decreasing. We will soon have to look for other options and teach courses which are in demand.

Students claim technical courses are expensive and they cannot afford them. Shardul Mishra, a student, said, The fees for engineering courses in colleges affiliated to the MU are high. We cannot afford such high fees. While another student, Janki Vyas said, The state should lower the fees charged for technical courses. Some of us are helpless because even if we want to pursue an engineering or technical course we do not have the money for the same.

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