In order to enroll fresh international students, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has decided to resume its operations in nine foreign centres abroad. These centres were closed down two years ago due to legal complications. The facilities to study through these international study centres were spread across 84 countries.
Enrolment of students had to be stopped by the university at its Overseas Studies Centres (OSCs) due to some legal issues as the host nation’s objected about its direct agreements with the foreign institutes. Due to administrative hassles and arguments the centres which were spread in over 84 countries were lowered to 29 and finally had to be stopped completely in the year 2013, due to the difference in arguments.
However IGNOU administration made sure that the candidates who had enrolled prior to 2013, get their fair chances to complete their studies and thus facilitating classes and conducting end-term examination happened in the centres even after the shutdown. According to IGNOU Vice Chancellor Nageshwar Rao, “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. 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 a MoU with the partner institutions in the respective countries but the same was not routed through embassies or government channels.”
At present there are around 40000 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. IGNOU has given access to various academic programmes across the world in partnership with various other universities. It has also given copyright permission to many foreign institutes to adapt and use its learning materials without any royalty issues. IGNOU is the largest body that under the central government that provides undergraduate, post graduate, diploma and certificates courses in various streams through distance education module.