Several colleges have already revamped the syllabus this year as per the industry needs and by including internships and practical exposure to students.
Several colleges have already revamped the syllabus this year as per the industry needs and by including internships and practical exposure to students. (Representative image)

Chennai colleges contemplate rebranding courses to boost enrollment

Arts & Science colleges add portions to repack syllabus of conventional courses to give them professional appeal

CHENNAI: Concerned over the poor response to basic science courses and some conventional arts courses, private colleges in the city are contemplating to change the nomenclature of these subjects and redesign them as professional courses to attract more students.

Several colleges have already revamped the syllabus this year as per the industry needs and by including internships and practical exposure to students. However, it does not seem to be yielding the desired results. Therefore, colleges are mulling change in nomenclature of few subjects.

“Portions on computer applications have been added in mathematics and geo-informatics in geography to give these courses a professional touch. However, these courses are still unable to attract students as they are not aware of the changes. Until we change the nomenclature, things are not going to improve,”said Paul Wilson, principal of Madras Christian College.

The college is working on re-purposing these courses and with new nomenclature, the courses will likely be introduces in next academic year. “Botany can be renamed as plant biology and biotechnology. We have plans to add fisheries in zoology. Along with the nomenclature changes, we need to get industry support for practical exposure and placements of students. Only then can these courses be sold,” added Wilson.

Principal of DG Vaishnav College, S Santhosh Baboo said they have introduced B.Sc mathematics with computer application and B.Sc physics with computer application in second shift and the response is better than traditional basic science courses. “We are making efforts to attract students by introducing these courses, but we also have to think about equivalence of these subjects with the conventional basic science courses,”said Baboo.

Academicians highlighted that while writing competitive exams where basic science courses are a requirement, these courses may not be entertained. “All stakeholders like higher education department officials, college principals and educationists should come together to find a solution to this problem. It’s high time concrete measures are taken to restore the popularity of the basic science courses. Otherwise, we will pay its price in the long run. Students are unable to understand the basic fact that persons with knowledge in subjects like mathematics and physics are required in every industry,” said K Satheesh, a retired faculty from a government arts and science college.

Colleges said two years ago, the ratio of application for basic science courses was almost 1:15 or 1:20, which means for each seat they received 15 to 20 applications. This year, the ratio has reduced to 1:5.

Even Ethiraj College for Women has introduced a new course BSc maths with data science last year and the course is in demand.

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The New Indian Express
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