Friday, June 14, 2024

UGC to permit biannual admissions in regular mode

In a significant move aligning with global practices, the University Grants Commission has amended its regulations to allow biannual admissions in higher education institutions in regular mode starting from the 2024-25 academic session.

Previously, in 2023, the UGC had permitted biannual admissions under open and distance learning and online modes in January and July during an academic year.

Currently, UGC regulations allow HEIs to enroll aspirants in a single academic session (12 months) starting in July/August. The typical Indian academic session begins in July-August and ends in May-June.

During the Commission meeting on July 25, 2023, the agenda to permit twice-a-year admissions under the ODL/online scheme was approved. According to the UGC’s Distance Education Bureau (DEB) portal, 19.73 lakh students were enrolled in ODL and online modes in July 2022, with an additional 4.28 lakh joining in January 2023.

“These numbers indicate that permitting a second academic session in a year has helped nearly half a million students join their degree programs without waiting for one full academic year,” said M. Jagadesh Kumar, Chairperson, UGC.

In the UGC meeting on May 15, 2024, this provision was extended to HEIs offering programs in regular mode, allowing them to admit students twice a year, either in January/February or July/August, starting from the upcoming academic year.

As per the amended regulations, HEIs with the requisite infrastructure and faculty can utilize this opportunity. Offering biannual admissions is not mandatory but provides flexibility for HEIs wishing to increase student intake and offer new programs in emerging areas. To admit students twice a year, HEIs must amend their respective institutional regulations.

According to the UGC, biannual admissions will also enable HEIs to plan resource distribution, such as faculty, labs, classrooms, and support services, more efficiently, resulting in a better functional flow within the university.

“Universities worldwide already follow a biannual admission system. If Indian HEIs adopt this cycle, they can enhance international collaborations and student exchanges. This will improve our global competitiveness and align us with global educational standards,” Kumar added.

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