State owned banks are working on new loan products to fund online education for students. Under the contours of the preliminary discussions that have begun, banks could tweak existing higher education loans for online classes being held by colleges and universities and also for those courses done through private educational platforms sitting at home.
While an internal discussion has begun and one with other stakeholders is underway, clarity is expected only after educational institutions formulate new fee structures for the courses which are now set to be held online. Some private banks have tie-ups with online portals.
M Aruna, deputy general manager of Indian Bank, said the institution was thinking about how to allow applications if students apply for courses that are virtual in nature.
Fee for fully online classes should be lower, say bankers
“With a lot of talk around shifting to digital, we have to frame education loan policies for the same,” said M Aruna, deputy general manager of Indian Bank.
Bankers aver that fees for online classes run now due to campus closures should be lower than on-site fees, even as they await clarity on the structure.
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S Kanimozhi, deputy general manager of Canara Bank, said the fee structure for regular classes would be higher compared to online courses since it could include practical classes, exam fees, etc. “So, we are yet to know how the fee structure would change (i.e) will be reduced. The information on change in fee structure has to be produced by the accredited colleges,” she said. Canara Bank is analysing the usefulness of online courses from a job market angle. “We have to see if those courses will truly be beneficial for the students,” she said.
… we are yet to know how the fee structure would change. The information on change in fee structure has to be produced by the accredited colleges. S KANIMOZHI | deputy general manager of Canara Bank
IIT-Madras has introduced BSc Programming and Data Science, a full-time online course, and has begun discussions with the State Bank of India. “We have engaged in informal discussion with the SBI which has its branch on our campus. Once the admission begins, we will provide the course structure to the lender. We have received a positive response from the bank so far,” said professor Andrew Thangaraj, Coordinator, NPTEL-IIT Madras.
Some online institutes have also tied up with private institutions. Upgrad co-founder and managing director Mayan Kumar said they had a tie up with Kotak Mahindra Bank for PG Diploma programmes in data science and machine learning. “They [Kotak Mahindra Bank] were offering educational loans, since ours is an academic programme. Our learners have also taken loans from nationalised banks for diploma and degree programmes which we provide in partnership with universities, for data and digital marketing and MBA courses,” he said.
Hari Krishnan Nair, co-founder of Great Learning, said the paid online courses had seen a 50% increase in enrolments since March this year. “The fee of these online courses is in the range of 2 lakh-3 lakh. With growing demand for these paid online courses, we have partnered with ICICI Bank to finance our students in May. We are also in talks with Bank of Baroda and Union Bank,” he said.
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