Anna University (AU) Introducing More New Courses

Anna University (AU) Introducing More New Courses

While it still remains a puzzle whether the state-run engineering colleges will be opened this year in all districts, the Anna University (AU), Coimbatore, wants to strengthen its base with innovative courses, increasing access to engineering education, free education to poor, variable fee structure and online education.

The university wants to increase the student intake by introducing more new courses and opening their constituent colleges, which includes a women’s college, in the next academic year.

Only the affiliated colleges have a lion’s share of the total number of engineering students in the state, as the state covers only eight-percent of them, according to Vice-Chancellor Prof. R Radhakrishnan.

“When one lakh students are pursuing engineering education in the state, only around 8,000 students study in government colleges. It’s only eight percent. We want to make the eight percent to 20 percent,” he said.

Besides this, AU might offer free education to at least 10 percent of its students. In this respect, it will create a ‘corpus fund’, with assistance from industries and other interested people to help deserving students.

It will also come out with a variable fee structure for students. “The variable fee will be based on the income of the student’s family and hence it will help many students come forward to take up engineering courses,” he said.

The AU will also introduce ‘online education’, where 37 PG program and certificate courses in IT and IT Enabled Services will be offered.

And it has been made compulsory for the PG students to write their examinations online – both internal and external examinations, except for certain type of questions. Evaluation will also be done online.

For UG courses, the online examination is likely to come in 2009.

“In a significant step, we are offering courses through Tamil medium also,” the V-C said.

Around 500 students in five branches will be given Tamil medium of education, though it is compulsory to learn English and Hindi. “In case the attempt received no response, it will be scrapped,” he said. Like the foreign universities, the AU will also introduce grade system which will dispense with the mark system.

“Coming academic year will see a slew of innovations in engineering education striking a difference among other AUs in the state,” the V-C said.