UGC Permits Biannual Student Admissions for Colleges Starting 2024-25

UGC

In a major policy shift, the University Grants Commission (UGC) will now allow higher education institutions (HEIs) in India to admit students twice a year starting from the 2024-25 academic session. UGC Chairman Professor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar announced this change aims to align Indian universities with international practices and enhance flexibility.

Indian HEIs admit students only once a year, starting their academic session in July-August and ending in May-June. The new policy will introduce an additional admission cycle in January-February, benefiting students who miss the initial window due to delays in board exam results, health issues, or personal reasons. Inspired by the success of biannual admissions in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) and online modes, which resulted in nearly half a million additional enrollments, the UGC extended this approach to regular mode programs.

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Professor Kumar emphasized that biannual admissions will help HEIs manage resources more efficiently, allowing better faculty, lab, and classroom and support service utilization planning. This system, already in place at many global institutions, could enhance international collaborations and student exchanges, boosting India’s global educational competitiveness. However, biannual admissions will not be mandatory; HEIs with the necessary infrastructure and faculty can adopt this system to increase student intake and introduce new programs in emerging fields. Institutions will need to amend their regulations to facilitate twice-yearly admissions.

The broader impact of this policy includes a potential increase in the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) and support for the vision of making India a “Global Study Destination” as outlined in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. HEIs must carefully plan for the administrative and logistical challenges of admitting students at different times of the year, ensuring faculty and staff are prepared for the transition and adequate support systems are in place. Additionally, biannual admissions could enhance job opportunities for graduates by aligning with industry needs, allowing for more frequent campus recruitments.

 

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