A national vision emerges on the unified higher education system

New Delhi: Efforts are being made to create a unified higher education system in the country.

As part of this, all courses will be available at tertiary institutions nationwide, and colleges with 3,000 or more students will become autonomous, multi-disciplinary degree-granting institutions.

With these changes, on the one hand students will have more options than before, while on the other hand educational institutions will get more autonomy.

Efforts are being made to build consensus to implement these changes. For this, all higher education establishments in the country have been contacted.

Not only higher education institutions, but also state governments will be partners in this.

The greatest advantage of these changes will be that students, in addition to their main subject, will also be able to take any other subject or full-time course according to their interest in their own institute.

These new changes were considered by the University Grant Commission (UGC) earlier, but concrete steps are now being taken in this regard.

Recently, the UGC issued a directive in this regard. According to the directive, students at higher education institutions will be able to be admitted to two courses at a time.

In addition, orientation and counseling of students will be carried out for this purpose in each institute associated with higher education.

All universities and state governments across the country will play an important role in implementing the new system.

UGC President Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar told IANS that at present, all universities and state governments have been asked to come up with rules in this regard for their institutions.

According to the president of the UGC, the unified higher education system would include the professional higher education sector, vocational education and holistic education. It was also suggested to open the necessary departments for multidisciplinary subjects within the framework of the unified system of higher education.

The essential departments that have been suggested to be opened in higher education institutions include various languages, literature, music, philosophy, Indology, art, dance, drama, education, mathematics, statistics, pure and applied sciences, sociology, economy, sports, translation and subjects such as interpretation.

As part of the new changes, universities and single-domain educational institutions such as higher education institutions offering basic, engineering, teaching or medical studies will now also have to adopt this multidisciplinary mode.

After these new changes, there will be three types of higher education institutions in the country: research universities, teaching universities, and stand-alone colleges. If there are more than 3,000 students, the college may issue degrees itself.

UGC says that there are autonomous domain-specific colleges and universities in India. Even in multidisciplinary higher education institutions, disciplinary boundaries are so rigid that very few opportunities are explored to learn different subjects.

Internationally, there is a rapidly growing culture of establishing and sustaining a multidisciplinary university, maximizing productivity by placing greater emphasis on research and development, innovation and incubation. Therefore, it is relevant for the higher education system to phase out autonomous and domain-specific institutions to form clusters and multi-disciplinary higher education institutions instead of the existing regime.

At the same time, a new system has also been added with this, under which students pursuing higher education in the country can now study the same course through three different mediums. In this framework, arrangements are made in higher education institutions so that students can follow their courses via online mode and distance learning in addition to traditional classroom studies. This can be implemented from the 2022-23 academic session.