Online course enrollment up 179% over last year, UGC president says

New Delhi: More than 72,000 students – including Indians and foreign citizens – are currently enrolled in various online programs offered by Indian universities. This is a 179% jump from last year’s tally of nearly 25,905 students, University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Jagadesh Kumar said on Friday.

The number of students enrolled in open and distance learning courses also increased from over 14 lakh in 2020-21 to over 20 lakh in 2021-22, he added.

Sharing the online enrollment data, Kumar said that as of October this year, 66 institutions across the country including central, public and private universities were recognised/authorized to offer online programs.

The UGC chairman went further adding that the numbers will increase once the central government sets rules for National digital university, an initiative which was introduced in the Union’s budget at the beginning of this year. A digital university operates like a real physical university but in a virtual space, which means that students will be able to choose the subjects they want to study, take courses and earn a degree, all in the online space.

“Online programs provide a window of opportunity for many students who cannot physically reach a college or university. The number of registrations for online programs continues to increase. However, this will accelerate once we announce the National Digital University as well as flexible online education regulations,” Kumar said.

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179% increase in registrations

According to the data, 25,905 students were enrolled in online programs offered by universities across India in 2020-2021. This number rose to 72,400 in 2021-2022, registering a record increase of 179%.

Of the total enrollment in 2021-2022, the maximum number of students (36,860) are enrolled in reputable universities.

At present, 4 central universities, 20 state universities, 30 reputable universities and 12 private universities offer a total of 371 online programs.

Enrollment by course data shows that at the undergraduate level, the largest number of students (13,062) are enrolled in Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) courses, followed by 4,991 in Bachelor of Computer Applications (BCA). ). At the postgraduate level, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) recorded the most enrollment with 28,236 students, followed by the Master of Computer Applications (MCA) with 5,365 students.

For open and distance learning programs, enrollment grew from 14,38,101 students in 2020-21 to 20,37,676 in 2021-22, registering a jump of almost 42%.

Kumar added that an increase in online, open and distance course enrollment is good news as it “will enable students to become more employable in the emerging job market and has the added benefit of increasing the gross rate. registration”.

(Editing by Amrtansh Arora)

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