Why Students Prefer Private Colleges Over Mumbai University

Here's a look at the opinions of students and teachers of Mumbai University which discusses about their problems and suggested solutions.

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Amidst the recent event where over 236 students scored 0 in their FYBA examination at Mumbai University, the institutions has always garnered critical acclaim from students and teachers alike. Whether it is leaked question papers, late results announcement or authority mismanagement the University is famous for being the news for all the wrong reasons. In spite of the fact that majorly private institutes burn a hole in the pocket, students are preferring these elite institutes and many seats in the University go vacant. We spoke to some students and teachers and this is what they had to say: 

According to a professor from Mumbai University on the condition of anonymity, "There’s a lot of nepotism in the appointment of the teachers and the reservation policy has downgraded the level of teachers. The papers are corrected by non-teaching staff and the results turn out to be arbitrary. The lectures are not held on time or are completely cancelled. The laid-back attitude of the authority is something that the students are tired of. Even though private colleges charge more, students prefer quality education over Mumbai University. The study material that is given to the students by the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) are full of typos. Even the basic things are not spelled correct even in latest revised edition and it also lack of substance. The written part is sometimes copy-pasted from sites like e-notes and spark notes. How can an English HOD make grammatical errors in the textbook for students doing their majors in Literature?"

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Another teacher said, "I feel there is a lot of information being released in media regarding the University which is creating a negative perception in the minds of students, especially when it comes to results and announcements. On the contrary, when students look at a private institute they have a broader image about infrastructure, the first thing that attracts a student towards a college these days is infrastructure, followed by placement. Placement has become a matter of concern, because students want to look at themselves as working professionals before they pass out. Private colleges are targetting students efficiently with lucrative placement opportunities." 

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An ex-student expressing his discontent has said, “The basic problem with Mumbai University is that they are still dependent majorly on paper and have not adapted themselves to the digitisation era. I had to submit eight documents when I had approached for reevaluation and those documents even included the question paper as they had to fill in this form the code that was written on the paper. There’s an easy solution to this that there can be a centralised computer system and they can make things paperless. The Distance Learning program is supposed to ensure that the students should not be called in the University regularly. I live in Goa and was called by the University just two days before the exam to collect a letter which I had to present in my exam centre. I cannot express the distress I had to go through travelling 700kms to and fro just 2 days before my exams.”  

Another Political Science student said, “No one picks up the call on the number that is provided by the authorities. I wanted to meet the Controller of Examination to address some serious concerns but his Personal Assistant (PA) did not allow me at all. The campus is so huge that the students are sent not just from one department to another but even across buildings which are very far away from each other. The authorities consider their work as a typical government job and are least worried about the student."

With an increase in the autonomous colleges in Mumbai like St. Xaviers, Jai Hind College etc. the fact that Mumbai University provides quality education and their future remains bleak. Some even believe that it has survived till now just because it is supported and by the government.   

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