IHE revamp: With National Academic Credit Bank, inter-university degrees to be reality soon!

IHE revamp: With National Academic Credit Bank, inter-university degrees to be reality soon!
Apratim Chatterjee | Feb 18, 2019 - 12:12 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 18: If the Union Government be able to formulate a policy, it will begin a new phase in the Indian Higher Education (IHE), radically changing it to a student-centric rather than the present institution-centric approach. The University Grants Commission (UGC) in accordance with the Union Government is about to alter the present Credit Based Choice System (CBCS) allowing the students to pursue their higher education from different universities and earn a degree from another university.

The UGC, towards implementation of the IHE revamping policy has proposed to form a ‘National Academic Credit Bank’ which will serve as an online repository of data of students and their earned credits.

Under the new system, if implemented, the students will need to earn a minimum credit from one university for the completion of their degree and after gathering their required credits from different universities will ‘deposit’ it to another university, to earn their degree.

Dr Bhushan Patwardhan, Vice Chairman of UGC was quoted saying, “The proposed National Academic Credit Bank (NAC Bank) will help students plan their objectives and their pace.”

The UGC before announcing the IHE revamp is currently working on the challenges that it may have to face upon implementation of the policy.

NAC Bank: Institution-centric to student-centric approach

With the new system in place, pursuing a degree will transpose from institution-centric to student-centric approach, the UGC Vice Chairman said, even as he shared, “the policy would ensure ‘multiple-entry and multiple-exit’ arrangements for the students.”

Sample this– A student enrols in a University to pursue for a Philosophy programme which requires three credits to complete a semester. The student earns those three credits in the university can move onto another university to earn the remaining credits of different semesters, finally gathering all the earned credits to ‘deposit’ to another university which in turn would award the degree to the student.

“For a student to be awarded the degree, the university should have the course of the gathered credits and the student should meet the minimum academic qualifications of the university,” further explained Dr Patwardhan, the UGC Vice-Chairman.

Not only this, the new system will also enable students from arts and commerce streams to earn the science degree credits, through a bridge programme.

Thereby once the new system kicks in, the students will have the freedom to complete the credits of their preferred courses from the institutions they like.

“The idea behind bringing such a policy is to ensure a more student-centric approach to learning,” added Dr Bhushan, even as he said, “Instead of learning what the teachers want them to learn, students can actually choose what they want to learn.”

NAC Bank and new CBCS policy: Challenges

The UGC will however, need to address a few challenges before the implementation of the new policy.

  1. The education institutions will have to face the foremost problem in understanding the new system.
  2. Students, on the other hand too will have to comprehend the system and its working process.
  3. There will be several technical modalities to be addressed including the validity of credit scores in case of gap years.
  4. Choosing the correct option from a number of programmes and the probable possibility of institutions accepting their credit scores.

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