KOCHI: In the past, when it came to collegiate education the state used to see an exodus of students to other states. The lure of better prospects and also the availability of seats, besides the variety of courses being offered by universities in the neighbouring states, had students taking the first train out. However, now things have taken a U-turn. Universities from other states are setting up their campuses in Kerala.
Of course, distance learning was being offered by many universities, none of them had an actual campus in the state. Lately, Jain (deemed-to-be) University set up a campus in Kochi. However, this is not the first university from outside to set up a campus in the state.
“Aligarh Muslim University established a campus in Malappuram in 2011. The campus was set up as part of the programme to improve the level of education among the huge minority population in the region,” said Faisal K P, director, Aligarh Muslim University, Malappuram. The university campus, which began with two courses namely MBA and five year BA LLB, added one more course in 2013.
“Today, we have 370 students in the UG and PG programmes. We have submitted a proposal and are seeking approval to start eight more courses. However, there is some delay which we hope might get sorted out,” he said.
In the case of Bengaluru-based Jain University, the huge influx of students from the state prompted it to open a campus in Kochi. “We have 60,000 students from the state studying on our campuses and more join every year. This puts huge pressure on the infrastructure. Also, studying at a place far from home becomes a very costly affair for the students, who might not get accommodation in the university hostel and have to make other stay arrangements. All this puts a big strain on the finances of the student,” said Chenraj Roychand, chairman, Jain University.
According to him, instead of building new facilities to accommodate more students, the university found it ideal to open a campus in Kerala.
“Students won’t have to come all the way to Bengaluru for higher studies. They can stay at home and do their courses. This not only prevents them from exerting a financial strain on their parents’ wallets but also helps keep their roots intact,” he said.
Jain University is offering all the regular UG and PG courses. He said the university is also offering online courses that aim at increasing the employability of the students.
“The courses being offered at our university is not just the regular affair. What we aim is to send out students who are capable not only in the academics but also are a whiz in entrepreneurship,” he said. In the coming years, more universities from other states might make a beeline for the state due to the huge student pool and also the loss of faith of the new generation in the performance of the institutions in the state.
Placements the icing on the cake
Dr J Letha, pro-vice-chancellor, Jain University, says, “We have admitted over 300 students since launch and have an intake capacity of 1,200. The university is NAAC accredited and also provides placements.”