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Presidency plans integrated master’s

Presidency University is thinking of starting five-year integrated master’s courses, which would help it avoid admitting students through the state government’s proposed postgraduate entrance test and allow those admitted the option of exiting with a four-year graduation degree, helpful for pursuing studies abroad.

The integrated courses might be offered from the 2013-14 academic session.

Last week, Jadavpur University had decided to introduce five-year integrated courses — with option for students to exit at the end of the third year with a graduation degree — from the 2014-15 session.

Faculty members of Presidency resolved to introduce integrated courses in a meeting on Monday, according to sources.

“The primary reason why we are thinking of integrated courses is they would help us bypass the master’s entrance test the government wants to start,” said a faculty member.

The idea of an exit option after the fourth year has been inspired by the four-year graduation courses to be offered by Delhi University from this year.

“Those who complete four-year graduation degrees can immediately seek admission to master’s courses abroad. Those with three-year degrees have to often study a year of the master’s course to fulfil the criterion of four years of undergraduate education set by foreign universities for postgraduate admission,” another Presidency faculty member told Metro.

He added that though Presidency was looking at the Delhi University model, it could eventually settle for the Jadavpur University as well.

Malabika Sarkar, vice-chancellor, Presidency University, said: “The resolution (of the meeting) will be intimated only to the higher education council, which has convened a meeting with representatives of all the universities on Tuesday.”

The university is likely to soon seek the endorsement of the council, its highest decision-making body, for the proposed integrated courses.

“Preparations to launch integrated courses started about three months back. Departments were asked to submit their own models of the course. Once the models are collated, they will be presented before the council,” said an official.

It was also resolved at the meeting, said sources, that students currently pursuing graduation at Presidency will continue to benefit from 60 per cent reservation in the master’s programmes for “home” candidates.

A teacher said as a centre of excellence, Presidency should be exempted from admitting postgraduate students through an entrance test.

“A centre of excellence must be allowed to chart its own course, with its own evaluation system and mode of interdisciplinary studies. A common entrance test will disturb the vision with which the status was granted,” said the teacher.