Colleges in Bengal struggle to fill vacancies in undergraduate courses

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Reasons could include the desire to study outside the state for better prospects, blind institutional growth, and the economic impact of the pandemic.

Reasons could include the desire to study outside the state for better prospects, blind institutional growth, and the economic impact of the pandemic.

Colleges in West Bengal seem not to be attracting students as most of them are facing an unusually high number of vacancies for undergraduate courses this year, forcing the state government to extend the date admission limit.

“It has been observed that a good number of seats are vacant in different general education colleges and unitary universities at UG level. Considering [this]the competent authority of the Department of Higher Education has decided that the autonomous online portal can be reopened with effect from September 12 to 16 for UG courses in general education colleges and unitary universities, if necessary, to receive new applications,” the state said. The government said in a recent circular to colleges and universities.

“The UG admissions process may continue until September 28 to fill vacancies,” the circular added, reflecting the seriousness of the situation in the state. It is not uncommon these days to come across posts from teachers on their personal social media pages, urging potential candidates to join their institutions.

Teachers and parents see several factors contributing to this sharp drop in the number of applicants seeking admission to local colleges, the main ones being students coming out of West Bengal to study believing that the quality of education and the chances to land respectable jobs are higher. the; and the explosion in the number of new colleges in the state.

“This has been happening for a few years now, especially in the suburbs but also in Kolkata. Recently, a prestigious girls’ college, Lady Brabourne, had to reduce the number of places in a few departments because of this. This year, [the decline] is more evident, perhaps due to a combination of factors: pandemic-induced economic insolvency, growth of private institutions offering more attractive courses, students’ desperation to study outside of Bengal,” a teacher said. from a college in Kolkata, which wanted neither him nor his institution to be named.

“Most importantly, so many colleges and universities have opened up across the state in recent years without any ground testing to find out if there was a real demand for them,” the teacher said.

As a result, even a month after the start of admissions and the publication of merit lists, a large number of seats remain vacant in most colleges in West Bengal. “There may also be other factors, apart from the exodus of students to other states and the multiplication of institutions, such as students dropping out of school during the pandemic and many of them are attracted to easy money to work for app-based services. said the teacher from an accredited college with a B++ grade at South 24 Parganas, where places usually fill up within a month, which has not happened this year.

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