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Top Autonomous Colleges Get a Nod from UGC to Offer Online Degrees: QS I-GAUGE E-LEAD Certification Can Future-Proof Educational Institutions' Digital Journey

28 February, 2022

As the concept of the digital university is getting into a reality through its announcement in the Union Budget for 2022-23, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken a step further by increasing the accessibility of approved online degree courses and the UGC has precisely chosen autonomous colleges to execute the plan.

Presently, only universities are allowed to offer remote degrees via online courses and from the new academic year, the UGC has decided to allow nearly 900 autonomous colleges across the country to offer online degrees as the Government opens up the online education sector in a major reform to achieve a 50% Gross Enrolment Ratio by 2035 in alignment with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

With this new UGC order, the autonomous colleges securing top 100 ranks in their respective subject category twice in the preceding three rankings of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) or having a National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) grade of a minimum of 3.26 are allowed to provide online degree courses. These institutions do not need prior approval from the UGC but will be required to follow the regulations and guidelines issued by UGC.

As per the reports, students appearing for online degree courses would be required to be Class 12 and undergraduate qualified for taking admission to UG and PG courses. The National Testing Agency (NTA) will evaluate the students through an online proctored mode exam or computer-based test (CBT format).

“If we stick to only universities, it becomes limited. There are a large number of highly qualified autonomous colleges in this country. This will enhance access for learners” said, Prof M Jagadesh Kumar, Chairperson, UGC.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi while addressing a webinar on the positive impact of the Union Budget said, “this year’s Union Budget will be of great help in implementing the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020”, while asking stakeholders to expedite work on rolling out the projects announced in it, including the digital university. The UGC’s move to enhance online access to the learners is an optimistic move in realising the goal of accessibility by NEP 2020.

E-Learning (E-LEAD) certification by QS I GAUGE

Given the pandemic situation which seems like a never-ending phenomenon; no more are the stakeholders involved in higher education able to function conventionally and the prospect of operating back to the status quo seems quite indefinite. In such a time, the only recourse that education institutions across the globe are resorting to is that of functioning online.

The Government of India had already envisioned the concept of Digital India and the reports coming out periodically about the volume of digital transactions happening in India are extremely encouraging. When it comes to going digital, academic institutions are not far behind. India is going to experience the first-ever digital university in near future. Digital is here to stay for a long time and only the dimensions of offering digital education may change. Any institution to be future-ready, have to concentrate on the dimension of technology in their teaching and learning and other functions. It is time for the academic institutions to relook at their comprehensive digital ecosystem to be future-ready.

The E-Learning Excellence for Academic Digitisation (E-LEAD) certification offered by QS I-GAUGE assesses the preparedness of institutions on various indicators such as student-faculty engagement, virtual sessions, and presence of a robust Learning Management System; and all of these elements are supported and managed by a team of IT experts or solution providers that are guided by a comprehensive IT policy and best practices to ensure adequate infrastructure is provided for seamless online education delivery. For more information on E-LEAD certification, please click here.


The views & opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent those of QS-ERA India Private Limited and/or its employees, partners, shareholders, or other stakeholders.



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