What’s new in Higher Education

admin November 4, 2021
Updated 2021/11/05 at 6:07 AM

The new National Education Policy is once again making headlines, with Delhi University (DU) sanctioning the implementation of a four-year undergraduate programme beginning in 2022, despite faculty resistance. The NEP offers a number of higher education changes. A look at how the NEP, if followed to the word and spirit, may transform the classroom experience:

Can choose multidisciplinary

In India, higher education is geared at developing disciplinary specialists. The new NEP, on the other hand, recommends breaking down disciplinary barriers. This implies that B Tech students, for example, would no longer be restricted to their engineering field of study. Instead, the arts and humanities will play a larger role in their programmes. According to the policy, “arts and humanities students will strive to study more science, and all students will make an attempt to combine more vocational courses and soft skills.” The new Liberal Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (LASE) Program at IIT-Bombay is an example of how the NEP’s vision is being realised on the ground. Engineering sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, art and design are among the five disciplines or “concentrations” in which students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. The fifth choice allows the learner to create her own focus.

Academic Credit Bank

Prior to the NEP, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had implemented a choice-based credit system (CBCS). Each course you take during your degree studies earns you credits under this system. Higher education institutions will digitally deposit credits earned by students for courses they studied in the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) suggested by the NEP. Students will have various access and departure possibilities under the ABC. This allows students to quit a degree or course and obtain a certificate, then return to school after a set period of time and resume their studies from where they left off. It will also allow students to transfer between institutes while pursuing a single degree or drop out of a programme. Courses or projects in areas such as community service, environmental education, sciences, art, athletics, and value-based education would gain weight if credits were assigned to each course. This would help a lot in terms of “achieving a comprehensive and interdisciplinary education.”

Undergraduate curriculum of four years

In India, undergraduate programmes typically span three years, with the exception of professional degrees such as B Tech and MBBS. While the NEP does not advocate for the three-year structure to be abandoned, it does declare that the four-year interdisciplinary Bachelor’s programme “should be the preferable choice.” The new policy suggests that degree programmes be lengthened to allow students to have a comprehensive understanding of holistic and interdisciplinary education. While undergraduate students would have to study for an extra year, they will have the possibility of graduating early with the “necessary certification.” If you leave after the first year, you will receive a certificate. a diploma in the second year A bachelor’s degree is earned in the third year. If the student completes “a rigorous research project” in her major area(s), she will get a bachelor’s degree “with Research” after completing the full programme. This NEP idea was implemented for the first time at Delhi University. Students at DU can choose between a three-year honours programme, a four-year honours programme, or a four-year honours programme with research beginning in 2022. They can also leave when it’s appropriate.

Regional languages

The new education strategy emphasises the importance of education in fostering Indian languages, arts, and culture. One of the ways it intends to do so is to encourage higher education institutions to use regional or local languages as the primary medium of teaching in the classroom. For starters, the government has given 14 engineering institutions permission to teach chosen engineering programmes in five languages: Marathi, Tamil, Bengali, Telugu, and Hindi. Students who are not competent in English will be encouraged to pursue additional studies in regional languages, which will assist boost the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education.

Single national entrance examination

Another idea is for the National Testing Agency to administer a single university entrance exam. Students will not have to take numerous admission exams if this is adopted. Rather than hundreds of colleges creating their own admission tests, universities may adopt this standard entrance exam, which significantly lessens the load on students and the educational system as a whole.

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