Itu2019s no more rocket science to understand the reasons behind growing popularity of Distance Education mode. With technology bridging all gaps, the courses on offer through this mode are better than regular institutes since they impart practical skills and also allows a student the freedom to work while on the course. But the more the success, the more the dangers surface albeit of a different nature. And I am not talking about the premier institutes like Sikkim Manipal or IGNOU.
With the increasing popularity of distance education mode more and more institutions in this field are coming up full of promises and fancy course names. Whether they deliver is another issue altogether. Thatu2019s why itu2019s very important that students do a thorough background check on institutes to authenticate their validity. I remember an article a few days back in a leading national daily on one such institute. Upon research a student had found that the institute had its offices in a garage in Punjab managed by 4 crooks laundering money in the name of admissions. Money, time, institute and the degree are all precious. It can make or break your career. So here are a few pointers that you should follow before you take the plunge on a new institute:
u2022 Make sure that the institution is recognized by a university or UGC
u2022 Go to the instituteu2019s website and check the details like approvals, recognitions, contact numbers etc and call up the numbers to authenticate their validity
u2022 Go to UGC website or the corresponding university website to see if this institute features in their list of affiliated places
u2022 Institutions that do not have a website of their own is a strict no-no
u2022 All courses offered should be validated by the Distance Educational Council (DEC). The institute may just have one course authenticated but may be offering many more
u2022 Itu2019s better if the institute you are interested in is a member of Association of Indian Universities (AIU). You can get the details from AIU site
u2022 If possible visit the place where the institute says its headquartered
u2022 If visiting physically is not a valid option, then at least make sure you do a Google Earth search to locate the place and find out. If its a institute it will be visible
u2022 Ask your friends, relatives or ask on Facebook or even a web portal about this institute and if anybody has heard about the same
u2022 If its been a institute since some time, try and get hold of an alumni who have passed out to know future job prospects and the nature of education provided
u2022 Do not stick to just one of the above guidelines, its recommended you check all
u2022 Last but not the least, itu2019s always better to go with the established and the reputed especially when they are the leaders in the field.