Draft rules allow stand-alone colleges to offer online courses | Latest India News

Autonomous colleges in India will be able to offer online and distance learning programs from the 2022-23 academic session without prior approval from the University Grants Commission (UGC), provided they meet certain criteria , under modified rules suggested by the higher education regulator.

The new rules will also allow them to employ education technology companies to develop content and assessment systems.

The University Grants Commission Second Amendment (Open and Distance Learning Programs and Online Programs) Regulations 2022 have been issued as part of the implementation of the National Education 2020 Policy which aims to achieve a gross enrollment rate of at least 50% by 2035. The regulator has issued a notice seeking public comment by March 15.

Institutions of higher education with valid accreditation by the National Board of Evaluation and Accreditation, a minimum score of 3.26 on a 4-point scale, or ranking in the top 100 of the university or corresponding categories of the National Institutional Ranking Framework at least twice in three previous cycles at the time of application, will be permitted to offer distance and online learning without prior Board approval, the amended guidelines recommend.

The regulator intends to allow top-rated autonomous colleges to offer online degrees starting in the 2022-23 academic session, UGC President Jagadesh Kumar said.

“We currently have about 900 autonomous colleges. Colleges that meet the criteria will not need permission from UGC to start online classes,” Kumar said. “In addition, other colleges that do not meet the criteria may also apply to UGC for permission to offer online and distance education. Even these colleges will get permission after proper verification.

Currently, only universities and their constituent colleges that meet the above criteria are allowed to offer online and open or distance degrees. Currently, 59 universities offer online undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Higher education institutions may collaborate with technology service providers for the purposes of technology maintenance, learning platform, information and communication technology support, including production and animation, technical support for proctored exams, cloud support, advertising and marketing and placement of learners, the project suggested amendments.

The draft amendments proposed that admission to these online and distance learning courses should only be through minimum level qualifications and that a “higher percentage as an admission threshold is not required” for admission. to these courses. For the evaluation, he proposed to conduct supervised examinations.

Technology support providers have been asked to only post activities regarding online courses on behalf of the higher education institutions with which they have collaborated.

“(The) technology service providers shall not admit a learner to any program in open and distance learning mode and/or online mode, for or on behalf of the higher education institution,” the draft adds. .

The changes also allowed higher education institutions to develop 40% of online course content externally. “Higher education institutions will have the option of either having 100% internal content development, or at least 60% internal content development, and a maximum of 40% external content from open educational resources (OER)/Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other modes, and higher education institutions will provide options for students to earn credits,” the amended standards state.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Fareeha Iftikhar is Senior Correspondent in the National Political Bureau of the Hindustan Times. She follows the Ministry of Education and covers the beat nationally for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different political issues.
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Karen O. Fielding