Friday, February 23, 2024

Kupwara Campus of KU Struggles to Draw Student Interest

KU’s Kupwara campus fails to attract students

Academicians rue ‘wastage of human resource, infrastructure’

Srinagar, Nov 23 (KNO): The Kashmir University’s satellite campus in remote Kupwara district has failed to attract students for three courses which were started from this academic session, rendering the facility virtually a non-starter more than a decade after its sanctioning.

According to sources privy to admissions, the MSc programme in Energy Studies has drawn just one student out of 30 seats allocated for it, while the MSc programme in Physics has drawn six students out of the 30 allocated seats.

These two courses were started by the University after pleading before the University Council headed by LG that these were “futuristic” and “market-driven” as per the Varsity’s assessment, the sources told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).

The poor response to the two courses belies the University’s argument and also reflects poorly over the quality of its homework before the launch of new courses, the sources said.

“The entrance test for two courses was held in June but since then the Campus hasn’t been able to fill up the vacant seats,” said an official at KU, wishing anonymity.

The University also started an integrated BA-MA programme in Arabic at the Kupwara Campus from this academic session, but again failed to attract the students despite keeping the eligibility open for all 10+2 passouts.

On November 21, the Director of Kupwara Campus issued a fresh notification for spot admission for the BA-MA programme in Arabic, calling any 10+2 applicant who is interested in getting admitted for the course.

The notification was issued despite the Director Admissions officially announcing closure of all admissions from November 13, after keeping the admission process open for nearly seven months for the first time in the University’s history.

“Making calls for spot admissions is simply lowering the academic standards. It is better to shut these courses rather than get anyone, even with a lower merit, to get admitted. This is not the way campuses are run. This is a sheer waste of resources and finances,” said an academician, pleading anonymity.

He said that campuses cannot be run for two or three candidates per course. “If you can’t have a student strength in a far off campus like Kupwara, it will drain the University’s exchequer without yielding any dividends.”

Notably, it has been more than a decade since the Kupwara Campus was sanctioned to take higher education to the doorsteps of its aspirants.

However, despite spending crores of rupees on building infrastructure, the University hasn’t succeeded in introducing courses that would draw students in large numbers.

One of the reasons for delay in the start of courses as well as for poor response to admissions is said to be the official apathy. The Kupwara Campus has never seen a full-fledged Director who could dedicatedly focus on its affairs and management. Even as on date, the Campus is manned by a Professor who is heading his own parent department at the Main Campus in Srinagar.

“Will the In-Charge Director look after his own department at the Main Campus or after the Kupwara Campus which is located more than 100 km away?” said the sources, adding that lack of adequate supervision was contributing to decay of the Campus on the academic front.

“Some non-teaching staff members are virtually running the affairs of the whole Campus in absence of a dedicated Director who could stay there round the clock,” the sources added.

Many argue that J&K Higher Education Council headed by LG Manoj Sinha should discuss declining admissions at KU campuses on priority and make course corrections to prevent misuse of human resources and infrastructure—(KNO)

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