NEW DELHI:

From Gurukul to online mode, education has become an ever-changing sector now breaching geographical boundaries to reach out to people across the globe. Now the focus is on imparting education through Internet doing away with teaching in classrooms. Scores of online agencies have come up during the last half-decade offering ample scope for students get degrees and diplomas sitting at home.

They include Universitas 21 Global, University of Phoenix Online and American InterContinental University Online. Universitas 21 Global CEO, a Singapore-based online agency, Mukesh Aghi, says that studies on web is fast picking up among the working professionals.

“Online courses are more preferred by people, who are hard-pressed with work and yet eager to study. Nearly 50 per cent of our students are working professionals,” he says. The agency, offering courses in MBA and Masters in Travel and Tourism Management since 2003, have about 1,100 students.

“The response is encouraging from students from India and Middle East,” he says. However, pursuing courses in these online agencies also involves risk of facing problem to capitalise the certificates for government jobs or further academic purpose.

“The certificates of these agencies may not be recognised by government in many countries. Students could face problem to pursue higher studies in general universities,” feels Prof K B Pawar, the former Secretary General of Association of Indian Universities.

However Aghi says, Universitas 21 Global was born with support of 17 reputed universities including University of Nottingham, University of Melbourne and University of Auckland, and the quality of education was on par with any other general university.

“The new mode of education ensures quality on par with the regular mode of one-to-one class room teaching. The course curricula and teaching is no way less than the general mode,” says Prof Colin Campbel, vice chancellor, University of Nottingham.

Campbell says setting up of institutions for providing education is gradually becoming a burden on countries, hence online education is seen as an answer. “The canvas of education has grown manifold making it the second largest industry with an estimated transaction of $ 2.5 trillion annually at the international arena,” he says.