UGC sets guidelines for students to pursue two university degrees simultaneously

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Friday asked all universities to make statutory changes to their structure to allow students to pursue two university degrees simultaneously in physical mode. UGC had approved a proposal in April allowing students to pursue two full-time degrees together.

The UGC said in a statement on Friday: “All Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have been asked to devise mechanisms through their statutory bodies to allow students to pursue two academic programs simultaneously. It is a once again requested that, in the greatest interest of the students, the implementation of the said program can be ensured and accelerated, if it has not already been done”,

UGC allowed students to pursue two full-time academic programs in the same amount of time, given that the course schedule for the two programs does not collide. Previously, UGC allowed students to take a regular course and a distance learning course simultaneously, but this development is significant because it now allows students to pursue two full-time degrees together.

Speaking of the policy, UGC said: “The issue of allowing students to pursue two degree programs simultaneously has been considered by the Commission taking into account the proposals considered in the National Education Policy – ​​NEP 2o2o which puts the emphasis on the need to facilitate multiple learning pathways, involving both formal and non-formal modes of education.

He added: “The National Education Policy – NEP 2o2o states that pedagogy must evolve to make education more experiential, holistic, integrated, research-driven, discovery-driven, learner-centred, discussion, flexible and, of course, pleasant.”

Regarding degree programs, the UGC states: “Degree or diploma programs under ODL (open and distance learning) and online mode should only be pursued with HEIs recognized by the UGC, the Statutory Council and the Government of India for the management of these programmes.”

“Degree or diploma programs under these guidelines will be governed by regulations notified by the UGC as well as the respective statutory/professional councils, if any,” he added.

The guidelines are effective from the date UGC issued the circular, i.e. September 30, 2022. Students cannot, however, receive a retroactive benefit and the current guidelines do not do not apply to doctoral students.

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