The unpacking of both under graduate and post graduate degrees in the new Education Policy (NEP) will help Indian institutes gain educational equivalence in several countries, likely to promote two way students mobility and may help in engineers’ mobility to some European countries for employment opportunities.
It will benefit students who earlier studied one year masters degrees abroad but never got an acceptance in India and struggled both during applying for jobs and while seeking to pursue further higher degrees. Experts said India earlier even did not accept one year masters from Cambridge University or a London School of Economics putting many students at disadvantage and this will change. Besides, the unpacking of degrees and equivalence of degrees, the promise to allow leading foreign universities to come to India will also help students get a larger choice in education and institutions in promoting joint research or even co-habitation of departments in likeminded institutes of India and other countries.
Indian on Wednesday approved to rejig the UG and PG degrees. At Masters level, NEP promises both one year ad two year PG degrees. And at the UG level, it allows students multiple exit and entry options. It allows UG degrees to be of both three and four years. It puts in place an academic credit bank system that allows learners to move from classroom to workroom and back without much hassles.
“Yes, it will promote mobility of students because degrees are now equivalent. The option of having one year or two year masters will largely bring Indian degrees at par with degrees offered by several European countries," said Furqan Qamar, a former Secretary General of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU). AIU gives equivalence certificate to institutions and students wherever necessary.
“Especially students who used to come back from UK after completing masters had a challenge in hand. The new move is expected to help them," said Qamar, a former vice chancellor of Central University in Himachal Pradesh.
“European countries largely offers one year masters’ degree in management streams. Now this will attract students. A two way flow of students will happen depending on who is offering the degree in India and what kind of countries they are targeting even in Europe. I think Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top B-Schools will start offering one year degree without facing legal hassles or pressure from UGC. One year master degrees are a good option for professionals and it’s better to legalize it faster," said S.S. Mantha, a former chairman of All Indian Council of Technical Education (AICTE).
Mantha, who had interacted with several European countries on equivalence when he was heading AICTE, said that other than management, this may also help in engineers’ mobility from India to Europe for employment. “They need to clarify this masters’ degree part better and I think India with a surplus engineers can benefit from it if pursued well," he added.
Saurya Bhattacharya, Partner, at law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas said while UG courses in some of the traditional favourite foreign jurisdictions for Indian students are typically 3 to 4 years. In India, for the most part it has been of 3 years.
“The policy now allows for UG courses in India to be of 3 or 4 years, with multiple exit and certification options. This would allow Indian students the flexibility to choose their courses and plan their higher studies, taking into account options in India or foreign universities. Course content is also expected to see some alignment with international standards in this regard," said Bhattacharya who has a specialisation in education sector.
“In relation to the top foreign universities being allowed…while setting up full campuses may not take place immediately (and foreign institutions may await more detailed guidelines), tie ups between foreign institutions and Indian institutions are expected to become more robust in the short to medium term. Overall, this is expected to improve choices and standards to the benefit of the students," Bhattacharya added.