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UGC’s new curriculum, credit framework for PG programmes: Expert explains in detail

Subhakar Alapati, Founder Director, Global Tree Overseas Education Consultants, answers all our questions about the new UGC curriculum and credit framework for postgraduate programmes

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently introduced a new curriculum and credit framework for postgraduate programmes. Can you provide an overview of the key changes and their objectives?


The UGC's new curriculum and credit framework aims to modernise and standardise higher education in India. It introduces a modular credit system where each course or module is assigned specific credit values, allowing for structured and quantifiable learning outcomes.

This framework emphasises interdisciplinary studies, enabling students to choose courses from different disciplines, fostering a holistic educational experience. Continuous assessment and feedback are integral parts of the new system, ensuring high standards and student engagement.

The flexibility and academic mobility provided by this framework align Indian education with international standards, facilitating credit transfers and ensuring global recognition of Indian degrees.


How does the new credit framework allow students to customise their learning paths?


The framework offers significant flexibility, allowing students to qualify with a major and minor(s) at the undergraduate level and continue with similar or different subjects at the postgraduate level, provided they demonstrate competence. Students can select courses of interest, switch between offline, ODL (open distance learning), online, and hybrid learning modes, and transfer credits smoothly if they study abroad.

This flexibility broadens global education opportunities, saves time and money, and enhances their overall learning experience and global network.


How will the new UGC curriculum and credit framework impact Indian students who aspire to study abroad?


The new UGC framework aligns with international standards, meaning credits earned in India will be recognised by foreign universities, facilitating smoother credit transfers and reducing duplicative coursework. This alignment saves time and money for students and allows them to customise their education according to their interests and career goals. Additionally, the ability to switch between offline, online, and hybrid learning modes prepares students for the varied instructional methods they might encounter abroad, making them more adaptable and attractive to international institutions.

Students may face challenges such as differences in curriculum content and assessment methods between Indian and foreign institutions. Proving the equivalence of Indian credits might require thorough documentation and additional coursework to meet specific international requirements.


What advice would you give to students navigating the credit transfer process between Indian and foreign institutions?


Students should thoroughly study the credit transfer policies of their target foreign institutions and ensure their Indian courses and credits meet these requirements. Maintaining detailed records of coursework, syllabi, and assessments is crucial, as these documents will be needed to prove the equivalence of their studies.

Students should seek guidance from academic advisors at both their current and prospective institutions.

Utilising resources provided by educational consultants and institutional international offices can also be beneficial.

Effective communication and early planning are key to ensuring a successful transition, as is being proactive in addressing any discrepancies between curricula. Additionally, students should be prepared to provide comprehensive documentation and possibly undergo additional assessments or coursework to meet specific requirements.


Do you believe the new credit framework will attract more international students to India?


Yes, the new credit framework has the potential to attract more international students to India by offering a flexible and internationally aligned curriculum. This influx can enrich the academic environment in Indian institutions, fostering a global perspective among Indian students. The presence of international students can lead to a more diverse and inclusive learning environment, promoting cross-cultural understanding and collaboration.

Furthermore, the international alignment of the curriculum means that Indian students will be better prepared for studying and working abroad, as they will already be accustomed to the standards and expectations of global education systems.


How will the interdisciplinary approach in the new framework enhance the academic profiles of students?


The interdisciplinary approach allows students to develop a broad skill set and diverse academic portfolio, making them well-rounded candidates for various programs. By taking courses across different disciplines, students can demonstrate their ability to think critically and adapt to various academic challenges.

This versatility is highly valued by foreign universities, which seek students with a comprehensive educational background.

Additionally, the framework prepares students for the global workforce by ensuring the curriculum includes globally relevant skills and knowledge. It allows participation in international internships and exchange programmes, gaining practical experience and cross-cultural competencies.

These experiences are invaluable in preparing students to work in diverse, multinational environments and navigate the complexities of the global economy. The ability to integrate knowledge from multiple fields also encourages innovation and problem-solving skills, making students more attractive to employers worldwide.


What do you foresee as the long-term impact of this new framework on Indian higher education?


The new credit framework will transform Indian higher education by making it more competitive and aligned with global standards. It will attract more international students to Indian universities, fostering a diverse academic community.

The enhanced flexibility and standardisation will encourage collaboration between Indian and foreign institutions, leading to joint research initiatives and exchange programmes.

This will increase access to international education and career opportunities for Indian students, positioning India as a significant player in the global educational landscape.

Looking forward, the UGC framework will play an instrumental role in making the education more accessible and better for inbound and outbound learners.