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The Madras High Court order to Bharathiar University (BU), asking it to close all the franchises of its School of Distance Education Centres is likely to affect hundreds of Indian students and office goers in the United Arab Emirates. The university has six centres operating in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Fujairah and Ajman in the UAE.
These centres list the validity of their affiliation MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with BU as ranging from the end of this month until May 2020. The Madras High Court had condemned the functioning of these centres outside the university’s jurisdiction in Tamil Nadu in July, following which its legal counsel told the court that it would shut down all unauthorised centres.
Some Students Already Enrolled
Some centres have already enrolled students for admission for the next academic year starting from September, Gulf News reported. When contacted by the publication, the centres said they had halted the admission procedures after reports about the ban on BU distance education centres came out.
One centre in Sharjah that had admitted students for the next batch, according to Times of India, claimed that it stopped the admission procedures from June 30. However, the academic counsellor confirmed that the centre was not reimbursing the admission fee to students who had already enrolled.
All centres, however, have claimed that the students in the present batches would not be affected.
As per guidelines laid out by the University Grants commission (UGC), which is a body that regulates Indian universities, no state universities in India are allowed to run distance education centres outside the jurisdiction of the respective state.
“We were not aware that the BU was still running courses here. We will now take up this matter with the UGC. Even if the BU is conferring degree to the students in the current batches, it is up to the UGC whether to recognise it or not,” the Indian Consulate told Gulf News.
The Indian mission said that a press release warning students about the matter will also be issued.