Indian and foreign universities to collaborate on Joint Degree, Dual Degree, and Twinning Programs to internationalise higher education in India
What is UGC’s dual degree program and how will it work?
The University Grants Commission (UGC) streamlined the rules for Indian and foreign universities to collaborate on Joint Degree, Dual Degree, and Twinning Programs to internationalise higher education in India.
The UGC has made a few changes, one of which is to limit its own supervisory role in promoting such relationships with overseas academic institutions. Universities in India that fulfil a minimum academic quality will no longer need authorization from the UGC to offer such programmes.
These “entitled institutions” will be able to sign MoUs for such collaborations without the need for UGC approval, if the Indian partner institution is accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a minimum score of 3.01 on a 4-point scale or ranks among the top 100 universities in the National Institutional Ranking Framework.
The overseas partner institutions must rank in the top 1,000 universities in the world according to the QS World University Rankings. Previously, the foreign institution had to be among the top 500 in the world. However, statutory councils or authorities such as the AICTE, National Medical Commission, and Bar Council of India will have to approve joint academic cooperation between Indian and international education establishments in professional disciplines such as engineering, medicine, and law.
Students would be able to pursue two degrees from an Indian university and a foreign university at the same time under the new regulations. The regulations allow colleges to collaborate and create degree programmes that will let students move from India to other countries and vice versa. These new rules, on the other hand, do not apply to programmes offered online or through open and remote learning.
The dual degree programme
Under this programme, Indian and foreign colleges will award separate and concurrent degrees for the same discipline and level of study. The students will finish at least 30% of their course credit at a foreign institution, and the degrees issued
by both the Indian and foreign institutions will reflect the credits obtained at the respective institutions.
Twinning and Joint degrees
Twinning and joint degrees are the other two programmes provided as part of this Indian-foreign academic collaboration.
In a twinning programme, a student can complete a minimum of 30% of the course credits in a foreign university while the remainder of the credits is done in India. However, the Indian university will be the only one to offer the diploma or degree. Foreign students enrolled in a similar programme will face the same restrictions.
The curriculum for a joint degree programme is developed collaboratively by the participating institutions, but the degree is conferred by an Indian university. Upon completion of the programme, the participating foreign university will provide a certificate carrying the logos of both schools.
What is the purpose of the UGC’s Dual Degree Program?
UGC Chairman Jagadesh M Kumar emphasised the importance of dual degree programmes, saying that they will provide students with the most flexibility in terms of higher education. “Through this programme, we are making it easier for students to customise their education and broaden their option of what they want to study,” he continued. Finally, he stated that dual degree programmes will enable students to better organise their academic careers, recognise and pursue their passions, and realise their full potential.
Furthermore, Kumar stated that a “exit lane” has been established in case a student decides they are unable to continue with the programme. “We’ve left a lot of room for flexibility in these clauses.” These initiatives are in keeping with the National Education Policy (NEP), which strives to make education more accessible, multidisciplinary, and high-quality through partnership. It will also improve Indian students’ employability and lure foreign students to India,” he added.
It’s a great step towards internationalisation of Indian education. For international universities it will be a first step into the big untapped domestic market. Also the students who can not go or may not want to go and study abroad but still want an international degree , this UGC step will be very helpful. But we will have to wait and see how this is executed.
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