Hard to get colleges to accept 4-yr BS: BU

VC says he plans to generate a consensus among college principals

Hard to get colleges to accept 4-yr BS: BU

Introducing a four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) programme at Bangalore University (BU) is not going to be easy.

“Making the BS degree acceptable to colleges is the hardest task before us. But we will try hard, and I believe, eventually, colleges will come around,” Vice Chancellor Thimme Gowda told Deccan Herald.

Prof Gowda, who plans to generate a consensus among college principals next week or the week after, says colleges have expressed reservations about the degree. 

“Colleges say adding one more year to the three-year course means additional infrastructure and space in institutions, and hiring new faculty. All of which means higher expenditure. Many colleges may not like the idea of BS because of higher expenditure. Still, I am hopeful that some colleges will come forward. I plan to meet college principals next week and discuss the problems they face and the solutions to overcome them. We will discuss how best to structure the course to meet the requirements of colleges as well as students.”

When asked whether all colleges under BU would adopt the BS programme, Gowda said: “Some may, some may not, owing to financial constraints. Initially, there will be hiccups, but I expect that after some adopt the system, others may follow suit. Usually, some may shoulder the burden and some may not. This doesn’t mean we should do away with the course.”

What would the university suggest to colleges that may not accept the BS programme? Gowda said: “BU cannot help them financially. We can at best write to the government to make available a grant to such colleges and help them expand and hire new faculty by sharing the costs. Beyond this, what can we do? Academically, of course, we will help colleges and students. We have planned the BS in such a way that a student can finish three years in one college, and complete the fourth year at BU or at another college, which has accepted the BS degree. This will nullify the effects of colleges that don’t accept the BS degree.”

“Another alternative is that students exit after the third year and still get a BSc degree. We will continue the three-year programme as it is, while the fourth year is the addition with specialisation and practicals. There is the flexibility of studying three and four years both,” he said.The vice chancellor said the programme cannot not be made mandatory. 

“It is up to the colleges concerned whether or not to continue the fourth year. They have to manage the course on their own. BU cannot help other than by way of syllabus formation, curriculum and offering flexibility in studying the course. We have studied the Delhi University and IISc systems of BS. Many aspects from there will be part of the BU course, too. Students can expect a degree on a par with both the institutions.”

Work will also commence on preparing the draft of regulations for the BS course. A meeting has been planned by the VC with deans and chairs of board of studies soon after which will be the meeting with principals. The VC also wants the BU academic council and the syndicate to pass the BS proposal.

In the BS programme, which will coexist with BSc, students will have the exit option in the third year with a BSc, BCom, BA or BBM degree. If students continue the fourth year for an honours degree, they get to do practical training. 

In the fifth semester, which comes in the third year, students get to choose a major subject and in the seventh semester, specialisation is allowed in one subject and the degree will be given in that subject. 

But if students want to exit after the sixth semester, there is an exit option. They will be awarded BSc in that case.

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