New Delhi: The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will soon resume its operations in nine centres abroad and start fresh enrollment of international students, two years after it had to withdraw the facilities across 84 countries due to legal complications.
The university had to abruptly stop enrollment of students at its Overseas Studies Centres (OSCs) due to legal issues after host nation's objected to its direct agreements with the foreign institutes.
While earlier the varsity had its centres in 84 countries, they were reduced to 29 due to administrative hassles but fresh enrollments even there had to be completely withdrawn in 2013.
However, IGNOU had been facilitating classes, end-term examination and other processes for the students who were enrolled prior to 2013.
"We have sent a proposal to the HRD ministry and it is in the advanced stage. We are likely to get an approval for nine study centres abroad including those in Gulf, South Asian and African countries from January 2016 cycle," IGNOU Vice Chancellor Nageshwar Rao told PTI.
"We have had our centres in 84 countries but there were certain legal deformities and we had to discontinue it in 2013. Earlier we used to have an MoU with the partner institutions in the respective countries but the same was not routed through embassies or government channels," he said.
When the operations of OSCs were kept in abeyance, the student strength across all the centres abroad was 40,000.
"So once the majority agreements came to an end, the government also said that we should have a fool proof system, hence we have gone for the new mechanism and from the upcoming session fresh enrollments will begin in 9 countries," the VC said.
"At present there are around 40,000 international students and there is a huge demand, so there was a lot of pressure to work this out. Now governments of both the countries will be involved. Earlier a few governments had objections that we were entering their territory without clearance so now that problem will be sorted out," he added.
Apart from offering its academic programmes across the world through partnership arrangements, the varsity has also given copyright or permission to many foreign institutions to adapt, adopt and use its learning materials.
INGOU, is a central-government university which offers bachelors, masters, diploma and certificate courses in various subjects through distance mode.