Soon students could be learning medicine at IITs and doing research at general universities, how? The University Grants Commission is aiming at changing the way higher education is imparted. Stand-alone colleges and specialised universities to look multidisciplinary way as per UGC demands. Also, UGC has asked colleges to follow multiple measures including mergers, offering dual degrees, collaboration, and online courses to name a few to dive in a multidisciplinary direction.
In an official letter, UGC said, “Multidisciplinary education is known to build vibrant communities of scholars, and peers and enable students to become well-rounded individuals. It is in this backdrop, the National Education Policy 2020 lays strong emphasis on the transformation of Higher Education institutions into large multidisciplinary universities, colleges and HEI clusters”.
There can be multiple types of multidisciplinary colleges including, Multidisciplinary teaching-intensive universities (TUs), Multidisciplinary research-intensive universities (RUs), Degree-awarding multi-disciplinary autonomous colleges (smaller than a university). To achieve this, UGC has issued guidelines, here is a glimpse of these new norms:
Emphasis on online courses
UGC has asked colleges to emphasise more on online learning. All affiliated colleges should become degree-awarding multi-disciplinary autonomous institutions by 2035. Colleges can either do this on their own or through collaboration with nearby institutions in the form of clusters or by becoming a constituent part of a university as envisioned in NEP 2020.
Collaborative Dual Degree
Collaboration between two institutions for the award of dual degrees facilitates students enrolled in an HEI to take up the first degree at the host institution and the second degree at the partnering institution. Also, UGC proposes mergers of institutions functioning under the same management to put the academic and physical resources to optimal use and to offer multidisciplinary education.
To offer multidisciplinary programmes successfully, HEIs are expected to conduct student-induction programmes to create awareness among students about various learning pathways and career opportunities; to register in the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC); and adopt online courses, in addition to other collaboration with other HEIs, to offer the programmes with a strong interdisciplinary flavour, the guidelines stated.
Expert colleges to offer specialised bed
Multidisciplinary universities and multidisciplinary colleges must also aim to establish departments in education, which aside from carrying out teaching and research, can also offer four-year integrated programmes, in collaboration with other departments such as Indian languages, Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology, Neuroscience, History, Arts, Literature, Science and Mathematics.