The directions from UGC come after several students faced difficulties in pursuing two courses simultaneously (File Photo)

The UGC, in April last year, allowed students to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously. Following this order, varsities were directed to develop mechanisms to ensure the implementation of the guidelines for such courses

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed universities to set up statutory bodies to simplify the process of pursuing two academic programmes simultaneously for students. The UGC, in April last year, allowed students to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously. Following this order, varsities were directed to develop mechanisms to ensure the implementation of the guidelines for such courses.

“All the Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) were requested to devise mechanisms through its statutory bodies for allowing students to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously. It is once again requested that in the larger interest of the students, implementation of the said scheme may kindly be ensured and expedited, if not done so far,” the UGC said in its latest order.

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The directions from UGC come after several students faced difficulties in pursuing two courses simultaneously. The HEIs reportedly had been asking for migration certificates and school leaving certificates for admission in the second course. In the absence of the documents, many students were denied admission, defeating the purpose of offering two programmes at the same time.

Allowing students to pursue two courses simultaneously were part of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 recommendations. The UGC issued the instructions that any student can enrol in two different courses based on their interest. It has also been clarified in the UGC guidelines that these can be both degree programs or students can opt for one degree and one diploma.

The University Grants Commission has also been working to launch joint and dual degree programmes in partnership with foreign universities as part of education reforms. As per the new rules, students are allowed to earn dual degrees from Indian and foreign higher education institutions- separately and simultaneously.

UGC chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar is reportedly in talks with several leading universities to set up their campuses in India.

Presently, close to 50 foreign HEIs are collaborating with Indian HEIs. UGC has also approached the ambassadors and heads of missions of over 60 countries whose universities are eligible for collaboration. Meetings with select universities from USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Singapore and others have also been held for the collaboration.

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