The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is considered the world’s largest university. It boasts of over 3.7 million undergraduate students and 1.1 million postgraduate students. The main campus is located in Delhi India. Its learning modes include regular learning, distance learning and online learning and has over 1500 staff.
The University is named after Indira Gandhi; a former Prime Minister of India. It was established in 1985 due to the high demand for higher learning in the large Indian population. The university has 21 schools in India and campuses in 40 other countries. Within its network, there are 7 sub-regional centers and 2600 study centers. IGNOU offers 180 academic programs comprising 1200 courses in certificate, diploma and degree levels.
IGNOU was established with a goal to offer higher learning to bright students whose families live below the poverty line and are unable to afford education in most universities. Majority of people in India struggle with poverty hence IGNOU is a lease of life for them. Approximately 30% of university students in India are enrolled in IGNOU.
The University’s Motto is ‘The People’s University.’ It also acts as a national resource center in India. Since its inception, it has been hugely popular due to its quality education and affordability. Students who get good grades at the university are always guaranteed government jobs.
Despite the high poverty rate, India has witnessed an influx of competent intellectuals. India produces a large number of world’s best doctors, engineers and lawmakers. Some of the most delicate surgical operations are performed in India and the United States.
IGNOU serves as the perfect example that a lot can be achieved through vision and good management. As it continues to spread its wing, more students all over the world continue to benefit. Education for all is a policy that is still being widely ignored in some developing countries but all that can change, if the Indira Gandhi example is followed.
The University is considering Kenya as the headquarters of its Africa operations that will cover 40 countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia and Gambia.