Opinion: The conundrum of university admissions in uncertain times

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  18 Dec 2020 10:45 AM GMT
Opinion: The conundrum of university admissions in uncertain times

I had applied at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) this year and secured 36th rank in the entrance exam for the M.A (Political Science) course. My name was shortlisted for admission and I was asked to upload my documents and pay the admission fee before 30 October which I did.

On 7 November, the university released a list of provisionally-admitted students and I found out that the person who had ranked 34th had got admission. Then I got to know from some friends that a few new students were withdrawing their admissions as they had applied to multiple universities. Since people started withdrawing their admissions some seats became vacant.

Later, I inquired at the office of the Controller of Examinations and was informed that the admission for this session is closed. We know other universities are still in the process of admitting students. I also came to know about fellow students who had been selected in UoH but were either withdrawing or have already withdrawn their admissions since they got admission in other universities like DU, JNU, and Jamia.

After all this, I decided to write an email to the University of Hyderabad officials seeking an update on vacant seats as we students were waiting but had not received any response till now. I decided to write again via email but still did not receive any response from the officials. In my mail, I included important officials - Vice-Chancellor, controller of examinations, dean of students and social sciences, and many others.

The University of Hyderabad has closed admissions before many universities and as a result, many seats are left vacant in multiple departments like M.A, M.Phil, and PhD. As a result of this, many aspirants have been denied admission. We know things have been uncertain for the student community during the COVID-19 pandemic and students have gone through a lot of difficulties during this period. Also, appearing for entrance exams was not easy for many.

In all this, I am not the only student who is being denied admission but approximately more than 10 Masters students from every department are also going through the same. When I approached the UoH students' union I got to know that this is not only happening in Masters but in the courses M.Phil and PhD, too. The students' union informed me that they along with some students are also trying to convince the officials to fill up the vacant seats by reopening admissions. The student' union of the University of Hyderabad released a statement against the closure of admission without filing vacant seats in Masters courses.

We all understand that getting admissions in higher education is not easy for all. I am the first generation to get into a Central University but definitely the journey has not been easy. Seats are vacant in universities but students are being denied admission and I am not alone here. There are many students like me who want to attend universities. We compare our country to others and say we are growing but the question is are we really? I am here fighting for my basic right to education.

I approached UGC (University Grant Commission) after UoH officials told the media that they were following the UGC guidelines. According to point 8 of the UGC's academic calendar 2020 for UG and PG courses, "In view of the present scenario and future uncertainties: i. The universities may adopt and implement these Guidelines in a transparent manner by making alterations/ additions/ modifications/ amendments to deal with particular situation(s) in the best interest of students, educational institutions and the entire education system, except in respect of those guidelines that are mandatory."

According to the UGC guidelines, I request the University of Hyderabad to reopen admissions and fill the vacant seats. Even the UGC considered my request and sent an email to the registrar of the University of Hyderabad to take necessary action.

But amidst this, one thing is pretty much clear that denial of admission will impact students during this pandemic. As an aspirant, I know the meaning of losing a year and I am hopeful that I will save my academic dreams and the University of Hyderabad will do justice to students living in uncertainty.

The writer Deshdeep Dhankhar is a student who applied at the Central University of Hyderabad. This report is a first hand account and does not reflect the views of NewsMeter

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