The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has enrolled over two lakh students in about 600 community colleges in the last three years, Vice Chancellor V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai said on Monday.
The IGNOU community colleges across the country offer vocational education, skill development and work integrated learning scheme.
"Community college system the world over is the most open and flexible pattern of post-secondary education, life-long learning and skill development," said Pillai.
According to the vice chancellor, key features like open education practices, flexi-time approach, technology-enabled teaching and learning, online and distance learning, work-integrated learning etc. are the reasons behind the surge in its popularity.
"These colleges provide a supplementary route to higher education through an appropriate mix of skills and academic knowledge," he added.
The Pondicherry Central University had started the first community college in the country and is now augmenting the community colleges by appointing faculty and creating other facilities, said Pillai.
"In Tamil Nadu, all state universities have recently decided to start 10 community colleges each," he added.
As per IGNOU, community colleges are an alternative system of education which aim to empower individuals through appropriate skill development leading to gainful employment in collaboration with the local industry and community.
They generally have a two-year curriculum that either leads to an associate degree for transfer to an undergraduate college or to the students direct entry into any occupation or trade. I