UGC regulations to facilitate foreign credit through dual degree, joint degree and twinning programs

In a recent decision, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has given its endorsement to an amended regulation known as the University Grants Commission Regulations (Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Higher Education Institutions to Offer Joint Degree Programs, Double Degree and Twin Degree), 2022. As per the regulations, Indian HEIs can collaborate with their foreign counterparts for the recognition and transfer of credits for joint degree, twinning and double degree programs, the latter being a recent addition in which both Indian and overseas partners will award concurrent degrees for the same program. . The amended regulations will help students earn credits up to a limit of 30% (for twinning program) or more (for joint degree and dual degree programs) over a few semesters by physically visiting the institution foreign higher education. As a reciprocal measure, international students can come and study in India for the same duration as no ODL/online mode will be allowed.

Speaking of the regulations, RP Tiwari, Vice Chancellor of Central Punjab University, says, “The offline mode will provide greater exposure for new age learners in entirely different learning ecosystems. However, the 30% credit limit may not be enough, a 50% is required if we wish to prepare our young people for global careers.


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Quality matters

He further explains, “UGC ads will provide greater flexibility for different groups of learners. But if Indian institutions want to attract foreign scholars, they need to raise quality standards.

As for the fee structure, which UGC believes should be affordable for a wide range, Tiwari explains. “The funding model of Indian universities is very poor. If we want to keep the fee structure lower, the government’s share must increase. »

Increase in foreign students

“The new agreement will usher in more students from foreign countries, with the number increasing from 20,000 to around 50,000 since studying in India is an affordable option,” said Amarjiva Lochan, Co-Dean, International Relations, University of Delhi. (OF). “Admissions of international students are in the supernumerary category, but after the collaboration, it would be difficult to accommodate students, even for a short period, adds Lochan.

Conserve resources

He is optimistic that the new measures will help to conserve foreign exchange reserves and also attract partner institutions from Asian countries, as they are to be among the top 1,000 in the world in the QS World University Rankings or Times Higher Education Rankings. “Supervised studies in various programs cost the Indian economy up to $50 billion, draining the country’s resources. Even though the craze for full-time foreign degrees will continue, joint collaborations will likely create a new social order, where feelings of inferiority complex related to more or limited foreign exposure may be a possibility, he warns. .

large order

On whether such reforms can help control brain drain in the long term, Ramakrishnan Raman, Director of SIBM Pune & Dean – SIU Faculty of Management, says, “It is a difficult task to assert. When merit and meritocracy are valued – the opportunities available are more than the opportunities needed – when bureaucratic process becomes a thing of the past – only then can brain drain control be possible.

Preparing for a global career, he points out, requires preparation on many fronts and is not just about credits earned at a foreign HEI. “If students earning credit have multiple skills, including language skills, required technical expertise, and the ability to work with peer groups of a global workforce, then they can show credit for increase their CV,” he adds.

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