New Delhi, Jan. 28: An expert panel has advised the government against accepting a British request to recognise the one-year master’s degrees awarded by UK universities and treat them as equivalent to the two-year master’s degrees awarded by Indian institutions.
Rather, the panel has suggested that Indian students returning with one-year master’s degrees from Britain be compelled to earn additional credits from an Indian university for their degrees to be considered valid for higher studies or government jobs, a top source told The Telegraph.
The panel, appointed by the Union human resource development ministry, was made up by the chairpersons of the University Grants Commission, All India Council of Technical Education and the Central Board of Secondary Education.
It said the University Grants Commission and the All India Council of Technical Education would frame guidelines for Indian universities to decide the additional credits these returning students need to acquire.
Nearly 26,000 Indian students are now enrolled in master’s programmes in Britain, most of them studying for the one-year degree. Britain has been nudging India to recognise its one-year master’s degrees for the past several years.
The UK Higher Education International Unit and the UK-India Education and Research Initiative had commissioned the National Recognition Information Centre, the British advisory agency on education quality, to do a comparative study of British and Indian master’s programmes.
The study considered criteria such as learning outcomes, course content, progression routes, research requirements, occupational outcomes, assessment methods, rigour and quality assurance. It suggested that the one-year British degrees were comparable to the two-year Indian degrees.
A delegation from the UK Higher Education International Unit and the UK-India Education and Research Initiative met human resource development ministry officials in July last year to present the study’s findings. The ministry then set up the expert panel to examine the findings and suggest action.
The panel compared the course contents of the two-year Indian programmes with those of the one-year British courses.
It found that the Indian programmes covered a wider curriculum, including a larger number of core subject areas.