Chennai : With the number of seats in undergraduate engineering degree courses far exceeding the demand in the State, managements of the self-financing colleges are increasingly finding it financially nonviable to run the institutions.
According to sources in the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the promoters of at least 22 private engineering colleges have sought permission to close down their institutions. The State Government is yet to give its nod considering the fact that the closure would affect students of these colleges.
AICTE officials said that private colleges across the country have been applying for closure over the past two years.
“Incidentally, in the academic year 2016-17, as many as 22 engineering colleges and one architectural college in Tamil Nadu did not have a single enrollment,” a Higher Education Department official told .
AICTE officials did not reveal if any of these institutions figured in the list of colleges that have applied for closure. Authorities at Anna University however said only three institutions had applied for closure.
“Of these, we permitted one college to close down as it has already transferred its students to other institutions,” an official said.
Many engineering colleges are also up for sale. A search on Google throws up links where colleges have been put up for sale with a price tag varying between Rs. 25 crore and Rs. 300 crore. Some of these institutions are located off Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore and Tiruchi.
“We will ensure that the rights of the institution or Trust (that administers the college) are transferred without disturbing its functioning,” an advertiser said.
Owners look elsewhere
Some of the consultants/brokers this reporter spoke to candidly admitted that the owners/trustees wanted to diversify into other businesses or expand their existing ones.
According to data accessed from the Directorate of Technical Education, last year, only 52% of B.E./B. Tech seats were filled in self-financing engineering colleges.
Even government, aided and Anna University’s constituent colleges managed to fill only around 82% seats. “Only 1,34,994 candidates applied for admission through single-window counselling for the 2,77,061 seats in 2016-17,” an official said.
According to a conservative estimate by engineering educators, only the top 200 colleges managed to fill all their seats in various departments. In 55 colleges, less than 100 students were admitted in the last two years.
Officials said it was not easy to shut down a college. At best, the State government and the AICTE would only allow partial closure or accept the college’s decision to not admit students in the future.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.