The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 sets out to make higher education more utility-based to prepare students for the industry.
To ensure what is being taught translates to applicable skills, multiple changes are to be implemented in higher education in the coming years.
Graduate programmes restructured
Universities or higher education institutions will be free to choose from a combination of graduation programme frameworks.
A four-year bachelor’s programme, followed by a year of master’s programme, has been recommended. Higher education institutions can also choose to have a three-year bachelor’s course, followed by a two-year master’s course or offer students a five-year integrated bachelor’s and master’s course.
On completing the four-year bachelor’s course with research or after getting a master’s degree, students can take up a PhD course. The NEP has done away with MPhil to encourage more students to opt for a PhD degree.
The NEP 2020 recognises the high dropout rate at the higher education level. K. Kasturirangan, the chairperson of the NEP drafting committee, has pointed out on several occasions that students dropping out of college after completing a year or two have nothing to show for it. An exit option has been planned for students at various levels. The exit structure is as follows:
- Students can get a certificate for completing a year of their bachelor’s degree.
- Students can get a diploma for completing two years of their bachelor’s degree.
- Students can get a bachelor’s degree after completing the third year.
- Students can get a multidisciplinary bachelor’s degree on completion of the four-year course.
An Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) will be set up to keep a digital record of the academic credits of students. When they return to complete their education, the ABC of the student will be taken into account.
Uniform entrance examination
Admission to higher education institutions is expected to be streamlined. The NEP has recommended that the National Testing Agency (NTA) take over the admission process. The regulatory body will set up uniform entrance examinations for all disciplines and courses, like it does for engineering and medicine.
The GDP spending on education is set to be increased to 6%. This could directly translate to better facilities and teacher training. With each institute being asked to create a more supportive and engaging atmosphere, students can expect optimal learning environments. How the funding directly translates to student experience will be seen over time.
Fixed and transparent fees
NEP 2020 education becoming expensive as a major concern. It urges private institutes to offer a transparent fee structure, with a ceiling. The policy also recommends that the fee structure should be such that students can recover the cost of their education easily. This could translate to cheaper education at private universities.
The NEP drafting committee recognised the brain drain that comes with students leaving the country for foreign universities. To prevent this, the NEP hopes to bring the top 100 universities to India. These universities can set up campuses in the country for students to enrol. International universities would cater to both Indian students as well as draw foreign students to India.
Conversely, high performing Indian universities are urged to set up campuses abroad. The Indian students living abroad can enrol at an Indian university.
Gaining knowledge in only one stream of education will no longer be enough. The curriculum and examinations are to be structured to provide more holistic education to students. Thus, those pursuing arts can expect to gain scientific knowledge and science students can get in touch with their artistic side.
There are several other aspects to higher education that the policy plans on altering. Overall, students, in years to come, will have an excellent, holistic higher education which would directly boost their careers.