2-course formula: The Tribune India

Flexibility is the new buzzword in the Indian higher education system. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced that students can now pursue two undergraduate or postgraduate degrees/degrees simultaneously in physical mode, online or combined, in accordance with the national education policy. Is this potentially a “best of both worlds” scenario for students that can help them develop multiple skills in record time? Or will they just end up neither here nor there?

Unfortunately, the level of education in our universities and affiliated colleges is uneven. There are big differences in terms of infrastructure, teachers, courses, etc. Any education reform is bound to face obstacles unless efforts are made to raise the bar evenly across the country. A student may remain underqualified despite earning two degrees if their institution continues to compromise on the quality of education. There are stark disparities not only between states, but also within a state. Even though Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India, only four universities in the state are among the top 100 higher education institutions in India, according to the National Institutional Ranking Framework-2021. Even our best universities are conspicuous by their absence from the international ranking. In the recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022, only one Indian university, JNU (#188), is in the top 200 for Arts and Humanities. On the engineering and technology front, six of our universities are in the top 200: IITs in Bombay, Delhi, Kharagpur, Madras and Kanpur, and IISc Bengaluru. With the dual degree option now restricted to UGC-approved non-technical programs, learning outcomes could leave much to be desired.

UGC recently made Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scores, not Class 12 scores, mandatory for admission to Central Universities and their colleges in UG programs. Other measures of this type are necessary to standardize the framework of higher education. Implementing the four-year undergraduate program, which provides considerable leeway for students to choose majors, should be prioritized before opening the floodgates for dual degrees.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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