The University Grants Commission (UGC) recently approved dual, twinning, and joint degrees. The regulation allows Indian and foreign educational institutes to collaborate to offer a combined degree in the same subject areas and disciplines.
What does this mean?
The Indian and foreign institutes can create special programs in which students will be able to make educational visits to the institutes abroad for a specific period to pursue a course.
The programmes existed independently earlier. The new regulations have made collaboration between educational institutes easier and much more flexible.
What is a Joint Degree Programme?
A joint degree programme allows Indian and foreign institutes to collaborate and design a joint programme, where a single joint degree certificate is granted to students.
Under this arrangement, students must complete at least 30% of the course requirement from the foreign institution that has co-designed the course.
What is a Dual Degree Programme?
Just like a joint degree programme, two institutes offer a dual degree program in the same area. However, the degrees will be provided separately at the same time from both institutes.
You should note that dual degrees do not mean certification in two different courses.
Students under dual-degree programmes will also require completing at least 30% of the course from the foreign institute.
What is a Twinning Programme?
In a twinning programme, students can obtain 30% of their course credit from the foreign institution that has collaborated. Similarly, students in the foreign institute under this programme can also come to India to obtain a part of the course credits. This means that students will require staying in the respective institutes for one or two semesters.
However, only one degree is granted to students. The foreign institute presents students with a certificate confirming that they have completed 30% of the course from the said institute.
Which Institutes can Offer Joint, Dual, and Twinning Programmes?
According to the UGC, any Indian institute that meets one or more of these criteria is eligible to offer joint, dual and twinning programmes:
- Accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a minimum of 3.01
- In the top 100 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) in the university category
- Is an Institute of Eminence
The foreign institute eligible to offer these programmes must:
- Either be in the top 500 of the QS World University ranking or the Times Higher Education ranking.
- Or have a UGC approval before offering the course.
It should be noted that online courses or courses in the distance learning mode cannot be offered under this regulation.
What Does the New Amendment Change?
The process of approvals earlier was more elaborate. And a huge part of the responsibility lies on the higher educational institutions to develop and lead the collaboration. Moreover, there were no joint degrees.
The new amendment introduces joint, dual degrees while also making the collaboration more flexible for both institutes and students.
The institutes will be responsible for coming up with a fee structure that is affordable for the students. The amendment does not define a fee structure because the UGC does not want to micromanage collaborations.
The two institutes can also provide student scholarships in cases where the student cannot afford the fees of the foreign course.
The programmes under the new amendment can be offered from undergraduate to PhD level. The regulations are likely to come into effect from 2022-to 2023. So, make sure to keep checking for updates on the UGC website.
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