Mumbai University’s graduating students lowest in 8 years, teachers call it pandemic impact

Feb 7, 2024

Mumbai University's convocation ceremonyWednesday's ceremony will likely be the smallest number of graduating students in eight years. University data shows that only 1.52 lakh students will be awarded their degrees this year, including 79,741 girls and 71,907 boys, the lowest in at least eight years (see box). These students have graduated in the academic year 2022-23.
Academics consider this as a 'side effect' Covid-19 pandemic, TOI had earlier highlighted the difficulties faced by students in taking the first full physical examination after the pandemic. However, teachers and principals claim that it will not have a long-term impact and that students' performance has improved compared to last year.
The data also revealed that in just two years of the pandemic, the number of boys graduating from Mumbai University exceeded the number of girls. In most years, including this year's convocation, girls have performed better in university level examinations.
During the two years of the pandemic, the exams had gone online, and the question papers were in multiple choice question (MCQ) format. The success rate in most courses exceeded 90% in the pandemic and more than two lakh students graduated in those two years. The numbers declined by 26% in 2022-23 compared to 2012-22. The total number of students graduating in the last one year has declined from 2.07 lakh to 1.51 lakh. But compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019-20, when the number of undergraduate students stood at 1.92 lakh, the numbers have declined by only 20%.
Neha Jagtiani, Principal of RD National College, said that when students returned to college after two and a half years, their performance was affected. “In three-year courses, this batch of students completed their first two years by taking online exams at home. In the third year, we found that many people could not write the answers. The performance of students, especially in science programs, was affected. Postgraduate admissions were affected due to poor performance of students in undergraduate courses. We did not get enough students for some science courses,” Jagatiani said, adding that this year, the performance of students has definitely improved, and it will come back to normal in the next one year. “At the college level, the pandemic gap will not have a long-term impact,” she said.
In the first semester exams, after the exams went offline in 2022-23, TOI had reported that the success rate in most of the exams was around 35% and two-thirds of the students had failed in the paper. Teachers had complained that many students were leaving their answer sheets blank, leaving no scope for giving marks and many missing the practice of writing. A university official said the convocation data number is incremental and some results that are pending may be added to the overall number.

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