The government will allow all affiliated colleges to become autonomous multi-disciplinary degree-granting institutions by 2035

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NEW DELHI: As part of a major restructuring of higher education, the government plans to allow all affiliated colleges to become autonomous multidisciplinary degree-granting institutions by 2035. Under the proposed guidelines, a student would also authorized to pursue dual degrees simultaneously in two different institutions. , get 40% of credits outside the parent university/college and allow colleges to form clusters or even a larger university to offer multi-disciplinary degrees. The policy also proposed institutional collaboration whereby an undergraduate student at the end of his degree did not need to take another entrance test but be directly admitted to the master’s program of the partner institution.

The new draft of “Guidelines for the transformation of higher education institutions into multidisciplinary institutions”, published Friday by the University Grants Commission (UGC) is available for two weeks for suggestions from various stakeholders before the committee finalizes the guidelines and that the Commission completes the regulation by April. -May 2022.

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The envisaged reforms, as proposed in the National Education Policy 2020, plan to end the fragmentation of higher education by transforming higher education institutions (HEIs) into universities, colleges and multidisciplinary clusters and poles of knowledge. The types of HEIs considered are multidisciplinary research-intensive (RU) universities, multidisciplinary teaching-intensive (UT) universities and multidisciplinary stand-alone degree-granting colleges (smaller than a university). Multidisciplinary TUs and RUs will be large universities with 3,000 or more students. The idea is to create large multi-disciplinary HEIs in or near every district by 2030, which is one of the most important recommendations of NEP 2020, said M Jagadesh Kumar, President of UGC.

Speaking to TOI, Kumar said: “Today most employers are looking for people with multiple skills. For too long, our Indian education system has operated in silos and within very narrow disciplinary boundaries. And we want to remove these disciplinary boundaries. The idea is to facilitate the easy access of the student to the different disciplines of a given cluster or any large multidisciplinary university.

Goals
* Convert single-track institutions into large multidisciplinary or stand-alone universities
graduate HEIs
* Institutional strengthening by adding departments such as languages, literature, music,
philosophy, indology, art, dance, theatre, education, mathematics, statistics, pure and simple
applied sciences, sociology, economics, sports, translation and interpretation, among others
* By 2035, all affiliated colleges should become multidisciplinary degree-granting
autonomous institutions
* Merger of single-track establishments with other multidisciplinary establishments under the same
or different managements

The policy talks about a three-pronged strategy. One of them is to create additional departments which have not been its main area so far in the existing higher education institutes. “IITs are technology driven and a university like JNU is humanities and social sciences driven. So can we create additional departments so that students have access to multidisciplinary training and research? For example, IIT-Delhi may establish departments in different fields of social sciences, international relations or national security. Because bringing engineers closer to the issues that affect our society is also important,” added Kumar.

Kumar cited the example of Jawaharlal Nehru University, which is inherently very strong in the humanities and social sciences. He said that in the past five years, the university has introduced engineering, management, a school of traditional dance and music, making it a comprehensive university offering multi-disciplinary education.

The second proposal is to bring together smaller institutions working in targeted fields under one roof and transform them into larger universities, while retaining their autonomy with their own management.

“The third plan is to group autonomous colleges into clusters. They will have their own board of directors and their own academic council. Students from colleges in the group can access each other’s courses and earn credits. So those are the three models that the policy talks about,” Kumar said.

Another big plan is to allow all affiliated colleges to become autonomous degree-granting institutions by 2035.

“There are famous autonomous colleges. Many people who study here identify themselves as belonging to these institutions and not to the university that issues the degree. We therefore want all affiliated colleges by 2035 to be stand-alone degree-granting institutions or part of the university so that they have access to other multidisciplinary research and academic programs of the institute,” said Kumar.

Another reform suggested by the policy is institutional collaboration. “For example, IIT-Delhi and JNU have their own intrinsic strengths. Thus, by having a collaboration between these two institutes, a student admitted in a BTech program of IIT should be able to be admitted in JNU in a master’s program without having to go through an entrance examination and other admission processes. admission due to collaboration. This has several advantages. The first is that the student does not really have to be pressured to pass multiple entrance exams because the student knows that once he joins the undergraduate program at IIT-Delhi, if he wishes, he can follow a master’s program in JNU. »

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