Published On: Tue, Jan 19th, 2010

UNESCO: IGNOU Is World’s Largest University

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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recognised Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) as the world’s largest University with a student base of three million students.

“IGNOU is the largest University in the world. Almost three million students in India and 33 other countries study at IGNOU, which is also India’s National Resource Center for Open and Distance Learning and a world leader in distance education,” Unesco said in a posting on its website.

“Enrollments of nearly three million students and networks across the country making the best use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) — IGNOU’s accomplishments are recognised worldwide,” Unesco Director General Irina Bokova said.

“With the launch of EduSat (a satellite dedicated to education) in 2004, and the establishment of the Inter-University Consortium, IGNOU has ushered in a new era of technology-enabled education,” the website said.

Through its 21 schools of study, 59 regional centres, 2,300-learner support centres and some 52 overseas centres, the university offers certificate, diploma, degree and doctoral programmes, comprising around 1,500 courses, it said.

It said that the university provides access to sustainable and learner-centered education and training to all through quality, innovative and needs-based programmes at affordable costs, thus reaching out to the disadvantaged and also promotes, coordinates and regulates the standards of education offered through open and distance learning in India.

The website further said that IGNOU’s staff consist of 380 faculty members and academic staff in headquarters and regional centres while some 36,000 counselors from conventional institutions of higher learning and professionals from different spheres.