At present, the university has a total of 4 million students enrolled for different courses, which is nearly 10 times that of Online campus of University of Phoenix, based in the US. Despite of the conventional teaching resources, methodologies and poor infrastructure, the university still continues to reach out to the middle class families and poor people residing in remote areas of the country.
In today's digital world IGNOU still offers its online programs through radios, television broadcasts or by mails. In fact, IGNOU has almost emerged as a backbone of the Indian Higher Education Sector.
Other open universities are also expanding, for instance, Nalanda Open University of Bihar has reported an increase in the number of enrollment from about 1500 to 40,000 in the last decade. There were many experts who even raised questions on the quality of education imparted by the open universities but some education experts quote that it may be the only hope for imparting higher education to the masses. These schools educate over 15% of higher education students in India mostly belonging to remote areas of the Country.
Nowadays, Open Universities are introducing new materials and methods on trial basis which includes online wikis which provides a common interface to teachers and students where they can share digital libraries and study material. Moreover, IGNOU provides its online content on the web free of cost to the students which promotes faculty members of other schools to borrow their ideas and replicate entire syllabus. IGNOU is also planning to enter into a brick and mortar classroom concept where students can interact with the faculties and discuss their doubts.
But still, one of the major drawbacks at IGNOU is that the dropouts are not tracked by the University. Experts have expressed their concern over the academic quality and the results of distance learning programs were no attention is given to the drop out students as in traditional schools.
The main focus of IGNOU is on maintaining the quality of education and promoting research based learning in India. The Open Universities are gradually gaining recognition in India and are getting popular among the students, especially from the remote areas.