CHENNAI : The Madras University decided to allow affiliated colleges in rural areas to increase the number of seats by 20 per cent for the coming academic year provided they admit only rural students for the additional seats.
This decision would be placed before the varsity’s Syndicate in the upcoming meet for approval.
Vice Chancellor G Thiruvasagam told Express on Monday that the decision was initiated considering two factors: the poor accessibility to colleges for rural students and the mandate to improve the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in the State.
He said that over 60 per cent of students belonging to the poor and weaker section usually come from rural areas where the number of colleges and the accessibility to them are low. Therefore, increasing the number of seats in such colleges would be one way to improve access.
Thiruvasagam said the increase of 20 per cent would be worked out with the minimum sanctioned strength as the base. Colleges would be required to produce evidence that they are situated in a rural area. Students admitted in the additional seats must hail from rural areas and documents to substantiate the above must be submitted.
Currently, 115 of the 159 affiliated colleges are in rural areas. However, some belong to the peripheries of urban centres like Chennai and city students go to those colleges. This provision is expected to diversify the nature of classrooms, he said.