'Throwing good money after bad': US University asks 25 Indian students to leave for lacking coding skills

Washington: At least 25 Indian students, in their first semester of computer sciences programme, at Western Kentucky University have been asked to return to India or find placement in other schools, because they did not meet the admission standards of the varsity, The New York Times said on Tuesday, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on a US visit.

Some 60 Indian students were enrolled for the programme in January this year and the university was said to have used international recruiters to enroll them.

James Gary, the chairman of Western Kentucky's computer science programme, told the Times that "almost 40" of the students did not meet the requirements of their admissions, even though they were offered remedial help by the university.

This means that 35 students may be allowed to continue while 25 "must leave", the newspaper said.

Western Kentucky University. Image courtesy WKU/Facebook

Western Kentucky University. Image courtesy WKU/Facebook

Gary said permitting the students to continue in the programme would "be throwing good money after bad" because they were unable to write computer programmes, a necessary part of the curriculum and a skill that US schools teach to undergraduates.

"If they come out of here without the ability to write programmes, that's embarrassing to my department," Gary said, explaining why the university could not permit them to continue.

The students had been admitted after a recruitment campaign in India where the recruiters had run advertisements offering "spot admission" to the university, as well as tuition discounts.

The university Senate has now endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the recruitment campaign which was part of the university's efforts to lift enrolment and revenue in the face of deep state budget cuts, the newspaper said.

The university in a statement said it had altered its international recruitment efforts in India. The school will also send members of the computer science faculty to India to meet with students before offers of admission are made in the future.

The chairman of the Indian Student Association at Western Kentucky University, Aditya Sharma, has expressed concern for the students who have been asked to leave.

"I definitely feel badly for these students," said Sharma, a graduate student in public health administration. "They've come so far. They've invested money into it."

But he admitted that some of the students had adopted what he called a "casual" approach to their studies. "They could not meet their GPA. (grade point average), so the university had to take this decision."

Prime Minister Modi is on a three-day visit to the US, where he will hold bilateral talks with US President Barack Obama and also give an address to the US Congress.


Updated Date: Jun 07, 2016 15:34 PM

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