Mumbai: In a first big step towards opening up the higher education space, 37 universities in India will offer fully online programmes with an unlimited student intake capacity. From an array of undergraduate programmes in commerce and public policy to full-time MBA and MCA courses, these online programmes would also be the gateway to attract foreign students whose numbers have remained abysmally low, and dipped further due to Covid. Up until now, the University Grants Commission had permitted only Open and Distance Learning (ODL)education, but has now opened.
Of those institutions that made the cut to offer online programmes, 13 are state universities, 17 are deemed universities, 4 are private and three central universities. Institutes with a NAAC score of at least 3.26 or a rank in the top 100 in university category of NIRF (National Institutional Ranking Framework) in at least two of the last three cycles can open their doors to international students too. “These insitutes can also start 13 programmes, three undergraduate and 10 postgraduate online courses without any kind of UGC permission,” said a senior UGC officer. Maharashtra has four deemed universities that will offer online programmes — Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, DY Patil Vidyapeeth, Bharti Vidyapeeth and Symbiosis International.