The Maharashtra state has cleared the space to set up 54 new colleges under Mumbai University, after adding 18 new locations to the prospective plan prepared by the varsity.
Although experts fear not many college managements or educationists would be in favour of launching institutes in the next academic year.
According to the perspective plan formed at the Mumbai University senate meeting, 36 new colleges were proposed; with only one-night college in the Dadar island city. However, the state government has approved a BMC college too.
Apart from this, other new colleges proposed for the academic year 2021-22 include arts, commerce and science colleges, night colleges, law colleges, as well as hospitality studies institutes.
A university management council member stated, "While the university has invited applications from managements and edupreneurs to start colleges at the locations approved, not many may be interested in investing in the next academic year." Currently, the MU has over 823 affiliated colleges.
While creating a perspective plan, an MU committee first evaluates the existing colleges, the courses offered in each one, the industries in the area and matches it to the college-going population count.
Furthermore, a survey among parents and students has also been conducted to know the popularity of courses and the local requirements based on aspirations and job opportunities.
All this perspective plan is marked on a locational map, that shows an indication of the shortfall in colleges or excess, and is applicable for the next five years. After the Senate approves it, the plan would be sent further to the state for final approval.
College managements that want to launch new colleges in those specific areas listed by the university can then submit their applications to the concerned authorities.
"Last year, the Senate had invited management to start colleges in Dadar and Kherwadi, but there were no takers. It seems unlikely we are going to have anyone interested in starting new colleges in the new academic year too," added a senate member.
The Senate has also approved new locations, including Shahapur, Thane: Mira Road (arts, science and commerce with hospitality studies), Titwala, and a night college in Ulhasnagar.