Self-financed courses and why they had DU teachers up in arms last week
The proposal to start self-financed courses in journalism, cyber security, law and transnational studies was unanimously opposed at the Delhi university academic council meeting recently.
What are self-financed courses?
- Education in Government institutions (universities and colleges) is subsidized by funds from University Grants Commission (UGC) which in some cases comprises up to 95 per cent.
- Self-financing courses on the other hand have a higher fee structure which can bear the cost of salaries of teachers and sometimes infrastructure during the duration of the course
- A college has the option to teach the same course under the general scheme or under the self-financing scheme.
What led to opposition by teachers:
- The biggest criticism is that it excludes more than it includes
- A higher fee structure will lead to a situation in which only those with means and access will be able to afford the course and primarily students from financially stable families will corner majority of the seats
- Self-financing courses can also reinforce gender discrimination, as people with limited means are reluctant to spend on a woman’s education
- Critics also claim that the government is just washing its hands of the responsibility of educating an entire generation.
- Teachers believe that grant of autonomy is the first step towards privatization of education and will exclude the economically disadvantaged and marginalized section of the society
- It will create discrimination as the same course will be self-financed in a college and not in the other. For instance, the School of Journalism at Delhi University kept the semester fee at Rs 60,000 per annum. On the other hand, at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, which runs the most popular journalism course in DU, the per annum fee is Rs 27,190.