The Kerala Open University (KOU), which has been proposed along the lines of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), will come into being from the 2020-21 academic year.
J. Prabash, Special Officer, KOU, submitted his report of prospective guidelines to Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel on Wednesday.
The open university will enable the government to bring all distance education and private registration programmes under a roof.
While admissions to distance education courses will be conducted by the respective varsities this year, the process will be undertaken under the aegis of the KOU from the next academic year.
The existing distance education facilities of the universities will also become regional centres of the KOU.
Dr. Jaleel said the endeavour would not entail financial burden on the exchequer with the existing distance education centres to be utilised for conducting classes under the KOU.
Moreover, laboratories and other facilities of government and aided colleges would be utilised.
The government was yet to identify a location for setting up the university headquarters. The proposed university, which will offer courses in science and humanities, will ensure priority to vocational and skill development courses.
Besides the conventional courses, the university will also offer massive open online courses (MOOC).
The programmes is expected to benefit several aspirants, including those from the marginalised sections, who are unable to pursue higher education in the regular stream.
Besides recommending a conventional administration setup led by the Vice Chancellor, Pro Vice Chancellor, and Registrar, the report also moots a two-tier system for governance that has an executive council and an academic and research council. There will also be a directors’ council comprising the directors of all study departments.
Steps to launch the KOU were expedited a year ago in the wake of the University Grants Commission’s directive that enabled only universities having a NAAC grading of 3.26 or above to offer distance learning programmes.
At present, none of the State universities has the stipulated grading.