Study Center Concept of AIOU

Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Pakistan boast to be the 4rth largest university in the world in terms of number of students. The number of students enrolled in AIOU have crossed the gigantic number of 700,000. There are some more than 30,000 tutors and its study centers are present across the country.

Quantity-wise AIOU may be counted as one of the top university in the world, but quality-wise, it’s only churning out out-right plain professional idiots, who don’t know a thing from other. Knowledge, skill, professionalism, discipline and ethics are the things which are rare in the AIOU’s study centers. The study center concept was launched some 14 or 15 years ago, and it has failed miserably.

The concept in itself is fantastic in the country like ours, but its implementation is very questionable. AIOU has delegated private personal to establish its study centers in towns and cities. AIOU just overlooks superficially and study center management does all the work. AIOU just sends books, guidelines, conduct final examination, prepare the result and receive the fee. This loosely controlled system is what is the root cause of failure.

There is no check and balance over the study centers whatsoever. University never asks the students and faculty what their problems are. University never checks and verifies the quality of study centers and official only visit to eat and enjoy. They never access students and faculty, and they never provide any proper way to get the feedback. Sometimes, to just fill the gap, they call the management to university and threaten them in different way, and then management arranges a lavish party, and everything becomes alright for at least another semester.

There is no check upon the quality of faculty. Study center tries to hire the cheapest faculty possible to save money. They put every effort to save money. Facilities are dismal at every study center throughout the country.

A typical study center of AIOU would normally be placed in a small house, or on a congested floor of some rickety plaza. You could see students and teachers haggling over the availability of class rooms with management or some other claimant. Labs if available would be like a torn-down museum. There is no concept of common room, refreshment room, play room, or conference room in such centers. The only thing worth-watching would be the principal room and his kickshaw secretary.

University should take some drastic measures to streamline these issues. First it should stop boasting about quantity and start thinking seriously about the quality. They should chart out criteria for the establishment of study centers, and only issue permission to those study centers which meet the criteria. University officials should pay the surprise visits to study centers and record their visit through movie camera, which should be checked by some director level officer. University should also put some feedback form for students on their websites and also ensure prompt investigation over any issue or problem. Assignment system is useless and should be abolished. Examination system should be made more transparent and secure.

AIOU could also be one of the top universities of world in terms of quality.

3 thoughts on “Study Center Concept of AIOU”

  1. I agree with Mr. Rehan, I have also studied from AIOU and did my BBA from there thru their Approved Study Center called Business Development Institute in Karachi. BDI was the best center, it was very professionally managed, it was totally air conditioned, the faculty was very experiend and dedicated and not only that our faculy were amongst the people who were places at top management positions and use to come to bdi to teach. BDI study center had a student helpline, where we could call and enquire about anything. AIOU use to monitor it so regularly that AIOU ARD Mr. Tariq use to visit the BDI study center twice a week. No i wonder how BDI in such limited payments from AIOu were giving us the best academic center support, may be because BDI was a no profit no Loss institution. I also recall the ultimate management capabilities BDI Executive Direcctor Mr. Atif Farooqi had. He was absollutely a through professional !

  2. AOA!
    Their is no detail of approved study centres on the net fro ready reference; or otherwise not detectecable through ordinary process. Please do the needful. That will help the students to locate the study centres while moving or transfering to different cities within Pakistan and if possible list of foreign countries may also be published/released on the net.
    Sajjad Khan

  3. For Kind Attention: Mr. Fahd,

    I would say that you have used very harsh words for AIOU. Firstly I have also studied from AIOU, though the quality can be much improved, but the picture you have given in all the articles you have written over the time are very pathetic specially commenting for an educational institution.

    You have been a teacher, you will agree with me that from the place you have done your masters, were there any students who were duffers? whereas you were a shiny student. You cannot expect that all the students from a university will be successful in practical life.

    You are talking about AIOU, i can prove that even if you will reasearch on chartered accountants in pakistan, you will do find such CA’s who are not posing to be as efficient as others are.

    You will do agree with me that a person who really wants to study can do well in all circumstances, rahter it be private or distance learning, all depends on personal interest, in all way you cannot blaim the university.

    If you compare with other iniversities, there are such private universities in pakistan, who are just DEGREE GIVERS and nothing else, and charging in LACS. IF you compare with Karachi University, there are also many departments where student can pass without any hassel in private, No assignments, NO classes, No presentations, No Quizes, only what you have once in a year so called Exams, anybody can predict questions from the five years.

    In comaprison with AIOU, even if you do BA, you need to submitt assignments, now its the duty of the student rather to copy it from somewhere else, or rather search it from the text book, don’t forget that in this way a person goes through the text book, rather than opening the book before 10 days of the exams.

    About Study centers, I had excellent study center in Karachi, No problems were there, teachers were resonable, as compared to what AIOU is charging. I had a direct number to call the at regional office whom i can complain anything about the study center. and they were very cooperative.

    AIOU examination department evaluation is very strict, they don’t give such higher marks as compared to private universities where its very easy to obtain 80% marks. I had many colleagues who failed plenty of times, and they were of the opinion that private universities are good, they take money and thay pass very easily. My colleagues thought AIOU examination is harsh in giving marks.

    Might be the center, where you studied was not good, you cannot predict that all the study centers and regional offices are worthless.

    Your articles will discourage Poor students, who can only afford AIOU, because of its resonable fees. they will be disheartened from reading your articles.

    It would have been better that you would’nt have taught in AIOU, beacuse you are posing such a picture in the minds of the students, its really sad.

    It can be your own personal opinion, but you should not portray it openly on this website.

    In such little amount AIOU charged me for a course, I was surprised that AIOU provided me books, tution classes, examination, mailing etc. The money AIOU charged me for the whole program, other private universities charge for a single semeter. These private universitites who charges around 3-4 Lacs for a program also produce duffers, so it all depends on the student not the University.




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