West Bengal: Private colleges see rush for UG seats

September 30, 2021
Mita Mukherjee

At a time when state-aided colleges and universities in Kolkata are struggling to fill the seats in their undergraduate courses, the seats are full in most private institutions and many of them are receiving requests to increase their student intake capacity.

According to officials of private colleges and universities, the seats were filled long before, a few days within the start of the admission process and requests from admission seekers for increasing the number of seats were still pouring in.

In a complete opposite development, the state government on Tuesday had to extend the last date of closing the admission process from September 30 to October 8 following reports that a ‘good number’ of seats in the undergraduate courses were still lying vacant at several state-aided universities and colleges. The seats are vacant even in reputable state-aided institutions like Jadavpur University and Presidency University.

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Father Dominic Savio, principal, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata (Autonomous), a private college run by the Jesuits said the institution offers undergraduate courses in 18 subjects and the seats in all the courses have been filled long before. “St. Xavier’s has always been in demand among students in Bengal. There is a huge demand for seats in all our subjects and the applicant count has also gone up this time. We have around 3000 seats on our two campuses, Park Street in Kolkata and Raghabpur in South 24 Parganas. All the seats are full. We had to refuse admissions to many students with marks as high as 94 and 95 percent and we feel bad about it,” Father Savio told EducationWorld.

The rush for admissions is seen at another private institution Sister Nivedita University (SNU) where the competition is high because the seats are limited. Dhrubojyoti Chatterjee, vice-chancellor, SNU, a private university, said “There were sufficient takers for the seats in most of our undergraduate courses. Barring a small number of seats in some courses in basic sciences, the seats are full in every subject.” 

Similarly, students are also showing keen interest in managing a berth at another private college Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, (Autonomous) Narendrapur run by the monks of Ramakrishna Mission. “Our admission process is still on but there are sufficient takers in all our undergraduate courses,” told Swami Shastrajnananda Maharaj, principal of the college.

At Jadavpur University nearly 330 out of 1000 seats in the BA and BSc courses are lying vacant after several rounds of counselling. There are no takers for nearly 238 out of 665 seats at another reputable state-aided institution Presidency University.

Most institutions, the state-aided as well as private, had received 30 to 35 percent more applications compared with previous years with no board examinations held and the success rate among class XII examinees being record high this time.

With limited seats and a rise in the number of applicants, many private institutions tweaked their selection process in order to ensure that only the most deserving candidates got the seats. Private institutions like St Xavier’s College and Sister Nivedita University selected the students on the basis of admission tests or aptitude tests.

The fee structure in private institutions is much higher in private colleges and universities than the state-aided institutions. But despite the high fees and the mandatory screening process students are showing more interest in opting for private institutions with the hope to avail of better education.

Students are opting for private institutions because they offer certain facilities which are not available at several state-aided institutions. Some of these facilities include modern infrastructure, a proper academic environment conducive to learning, use of advanced education tools, experienced faculties and proper placement opportunities.

Also read: Decline in demand for private tuition in Kolkata this year: Private tutors

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