UGC allows students to pursue two degrees simultaneously in physical, online or combination modes
In a virtual meeting with the media UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar revealed UGC’s latest plan to allow students to pursue two simultaneous academic programmes, including full-time degree courses.
He said that in accordance to the National Education Policy (NEP), the latest move aims to offer flexibility and personalisation of higher education and even allow multidisciplinary education across various domains for students.
With this decision, students will be able to pursue two UG or PG degrees/diplomas together in the physical+physical mode or physical+online mode or online+online mode.
Kumar also notified that top universities of India have been given the choice to offer online degree courses and that fresh guidelines for the same will be notified in two weeks.
The official list of UGC guidelines for pursuing two simultaneous degrees or academic programmes is expected to be uploaded on the UGC website tomorrow. The new move will be application from the academic year 2022-23 onwards.
The UGC chairman said that the flexibility of allowing students to pursue two degrees at the same times through various combinations of modes will help students educate themselves in the way they want, subject to what the HEIs decide
Kumar said that this was a time when open, distance and online education modes were growing and rapidly being adopted by many universities across India.
He said that the NEP wants to facilitate multiple pathways of education including a combination of offline and online modes that offers the freedom to students to build multiple skills.
UGC GUIDELINES ON PURSUING TWO DEGREES TOGETHER
Some of the highlights of the new UGC guidelines regarding pursuing two courses simultaneously as discussed in the virtual meeting are:
1. Students can pursue two full-time academic programmes in the physical mode provided that the class timings do not overlap. Eg. A student can pursue BA classes in the morning and BCom classes in the evening.
2. Students will be able to pursue two UG or PG degrees/diplomas together in the physical+physical mode or physical+online mode or online+online mode.
3. The two programmes may be pursued from the same university or from different universities
4. Students will be allowed to pursue multidisciplinary programmes. Eg. BA History with BSc Mathematics, BCom Honours with a diploma in Data Science, etc.
5. The degrees and diplomas that the students will be earning through higher education in the two-degree format will be governed by UGC and the statutory bodies of higher education.
Some of the other factors surrounding the latest UGC decision are explained below as per UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Sharma’s words:
1. If a student is pursuing two physical mode programmes, the attendance required for each will be decided by the respective universities.
2. Students need to follow the admission requirements for each degree programme separately just like if they were pursuing them in a singular manner.
3. As per the modified online programme regulations, any student can join online academic programmes after completing Class 12.
4. Students can pursue the two programmes starting in different years. Eg. A student can start off a BA History degree in 2022 and start a Data Science diploma in 2023 while being a second-year History student.
5. Multiple entry and exit options as introduced by the NEP will be applicable for all degrees, whether single or double, online or offline, degree or diploma, UG or PG.
6. It is not mandatory for all universities to allow their students to go for two degrees or programmes simultaneously. The decision to implement or not implement the latest UGC decision is up to them.
7. Students should note that if they are pursuing two programmes where both are in physical modes, it may be an issue because it may be a strain on them physically to attend two sets of classes. Besides, two top universities may not always be located close to each other for students to easily go from one set of classes to the other. The UGC chairman said that because of this a physical+online combination may be the best for students.
8. Pursuing two degrees/diplomas isn’t easy and Kumar said that it “depends on the capability of the student” and that this was just an option to introduce more flexibility in higher studies.
As the UGC guidelines on pursuing two simultaneous degrees are announced on Wednesday, all the HEIs in India will be informed of the same.
The HEIs will them inform their statutory bodies of the UGC guidelines and academic ordinances will then be formed adopting the new guidelines.