University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently announced that as per the regulation Indian Universities/institutions can now collaborate with foreign higher educational institutes and can get a dual degree either separately or simultaneously.
The draft UGC (Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Higher Education Institutions to offer Joint Degree, Dual Degree and Twinning Programs) Regulations, 2021 reads that “Any degree or diploma awarded based on these collaborations “shall be equivalent to any corresponding degree or diploma awarded by the Indian higher education institution; there shall be no further requirement of seeking equivalence from any authority”. A point that is to be noted is that these regulations will not apply on online and open and distance-learning programs.
These regulations would allow four kinds of academic collaborations between Indian and foreign institutions.
- These would-be credit recognition and transfer.
- It should be joint degree program.
- It should be dual degree programme and twinning arrangement.
- Regulations do not allow for franchise arrangements under these collaborations.
The Indian universities which are ranked top 100 as per the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) or institutions of eminence can collaborate with top 500 institutes in THE or QS World University ranking.
This new regulation from UGC can pave the way for an improvement in the higher education sector and would also help Indian universities to upgrade themselves as per the global standards. Questions to be asked here are affordability and uniqueness of these dual degree programs and the reaction of the corporate world. There could be some negative also since this program cab be offered only by the top 100 universities in India thus students from other universities could face problems in the job market.
Time would tell how this could change the overall scenario of higher education in India, but this is a positive step taken by UGC which could enable changes in the education system requires since long.