Allowing Foreign Universities
- The new National Education Policy (NEP) states that the world’s top 100 universities will be “facilitated” to operate in the country through a new law.
- The government’s position on foreign universities effectively reverses the BJP’s earlier stand on The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, 2010, brought by the UPA-2 government.
- A major criticism of allowing foreign universities to operate in India at the time was that,
- They would raise the cost of education through higher tuition fees and poaching of faculty from public universities, and
- Put it out of the reach of a large section of the population.
- Participation of foreign universities in India is currently limited to them entering into collaborative twinning programmes, sharing faculty with partnering institutions and offering distance education.
- Over 650 foreign education providers have such arrangements in India.
Shift in the format of undergraduate education
- Under the four-year programme proposed in the new NEP,
- Students can exit after one year with a certificate, after two years with a diploma, and after three years with a bachelor’s degree.
- The traditional three-year BA, B.Sc, and B.Voc degrees will continue.
- Four-year bachelor’s programmes generally include a certain amount of research work and the student will get deeper knowledge in the subject he or she decides to major in.
How it will be useful?
- It will help in enrolling for a D,
- A Master’s degree or a 4-year Bachelor’s degree with Research shall be required.
- The Phil programme shall be discontinued.
Will this impact the quality?
- Experts believe, it should not affect the higher education trajectory at all.
- This is the current practice almost all over the world.
- In most universities, including those in the UK (Oxford, Cambridge and others), M Phil was a middle research degree between a master’s and a PhD.
- Those who have entered MPhil, more often than not ended their studies with a PhD degree.
- MPhil degrees have slowly been phased out in favour of a direct PhD
- Standalone Higher Education Institutes and professional education institutes will be evolved into multi-disciplinary education.
- The new education policy aims for “broad-based, flexible learning”.
- Institutions offering single streams (such as technical education) must be phased out, and all universities and colleges must focus on becoming multidisciplinary by 2030.
Will it not dilute the character of single-stream institutions like IITs?
- The IITs are already moving in that direction.
- IIT-Delhi has a humanities department and set up a public policy department recently.
- IIT-Kharagpur has a School of Medical Science and Technology.
- Some of the best universities in the US such as MIT have very strong humanities
- In a civil engineer, knowing how to build a dam is not going to solve a problem.
- He/she needs to know the environmental and social impact of building the dam.
- Many engineers are also becoming entrepreneurs. Should they not know something about economics?
- The NEP also paves the way for a single overarching regulator for higher education, which will replace-
- The University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE).
- The single regulator, called the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI)
- HECI will have “four independent verticals” to carry out the functions of-
- Accreditation, and
- Setting standards for learning outcomes.
- The professional councils, such as-
- The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR),
- Veterinary Council of India (VCI),
- National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE),
- Council of Architecture (CoA),
- National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) etc.,
- Will act as Professional Standard Setting Bodies (PSSBs).
National Research Foundation (NRF)
- The NEP has also proposed the setting up of a National Research Foundation (NRF) with the mandate
- To create a conducive ecosystem for research through funding and mentoring.
- Given the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the overnight move to online classes,
- The policy has proposed the setting up of a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF).
- A platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration, etc., for both school and higher education.