UGC may consider credit transfer policy to enable students to pursue multiple degrees
Monday, July 29, 2019
Two degrees-one online and one regular– or two regular degrees in the evening colleges simultaneously will be available to students from the next academic year,reports Sheetal Banchariya
As per the current University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines, students can only pursue a certificate, diploma, advanced diploma, PG diploma in regular or open distance learning (ODL) mode along with a degree programme. They cannot opt for more than one degree simultaneously. However, the students may be allowed to pursue multiple degrees from next academic year.
UGC has set up a committee consisting of experts and academicians to review the regulation. “The decision is in line with the draft National Education Policy (NEP) that calls for more focus on a student-centric system. If some students are able to put in the effort into pursuing multiple degrees, then the administration must not be a hindrance,” says Bhushan Patwardhan, vice chairman of UGC.
A similar initiative was taken up by the UGC in 2012, but ultimately the idea was scrapped. “Pursuing two degree programmes under regular mode may not be allowed simultaneously as it may create logistic, administrative and academic problems,” stated the 2012 committee report.
The technological developments in the field of education have prompted the commission to review the guidelines. “After implementing the UGC (Online Courses) Regulations 2018, we are sure that pursuing a degree online is possible. A student may be allowed to pursue one degree in regular and another in online mode, but we are not discarding the option of two regular degrees as some students may opt for evening colleges,” adds Patwardhan.
A system for credit-based courses – National Academic Credit Bank (NACB) – will also be launched to ease out the process for the students. “Students will have the choice to pursue credit-based courses from different institutes. Currently, there is no policy for credit transfer and the bank will fill in that gap. A student completing 100 credit points through any course at any university will be eligible for a degree,” says Patwardhan, who is also heading the review committee.
The committee has not yet finalised the decision and will submit a report to the commission in a month. The final decision would be shared by September 2019. If the current guidelines are dissolved, then the option of pursuing multiple degrees will be available to the students from the academic session 2020-21.