Amrita University, Ettimadai, Coimbatore / False promises
This is the time of the year when senior officials (I would call them sharks) of so-called ‘leading universities’ in India visit the Gulf to lure students to their institutions, and I am writing this as a warning to parents before they shell out huge amounts of money for admission.
I will narrate my story here. Four years ago, the director, international relations, of a Amrita University, Ettimadi, Coimbatore, India, which has campuses in Kerala and Karnataka, visited Muscat scouting for students. I met him at an Indian school in Dubai and paid the Rs 700, 000 he demanded for my son’s admission in the university’s engineering (IT branch) college.
Initially, I was reluctant to pay such a big sum, but he said: ‘You
have to decide fast, because there are hundreds in the queue’. He also boasted that ‘not a single student who graduated from our university remains unemployed’, and listed the names all the top IT companies who visited his university for on-campus recruitment every year.
Ultimately, because I had no other option at the time, I paid. I am repenting now. For so many reasons.
First, this ‘great’ university has discontinued its IT course! So much for campus selection.
Second, I found out that the teaching standards are sub-standard, to say the least. Most of the teachers are fresh engineering graduates without any experience and don’t even speak correct English (forget about good English). Half the time they conduct classes in Tamil. Any student who dares to request a clarification is insulted in front of the entire class. Once during a visit there, I mentioned this to this gentleman, the Director, International Relations. His answer was: ‘Well, you bring good teachers, we are prepared to pay them Rs100, 000 a month… We are trying, but we don’t get properly qualified teachers!’
Third, the atmosphere on the campus is oppressive. The teaching staff and administration officials misbehave with students for the slightest of reasons. They insult and abuse students openly, totally demoralising them. In fact, students are scared of the staff and don’t speak out openly.
Fourth, the conditions in the hostels are deplorable, particularly in relation to food served to inmates. Most students are forced to eat at the canteens within the campus, paying exorbitant prices. The parents, thus, end up paying the mess fees plus the canteen expenses!
After my visit to the university, I discovered that this is a very cleverly planned trick, in the sense that the university makes huge profits from leasing out the canteens. I counted at least four sprawling canteens, all crowded all the time, and two more were under construction. Thus the reason for the poor quality food in the hostel mess becomes obvious.
I write this letter to caution parents to be vigilant. Please do not pay any money unless and until you make your own investigations about the university/college where you are planning to admit your children. Don’t be duped by the big-name institutions.