Now, uni­ver­si­ties will need top rat­ings for for­eign col­lab­o­ra­tions

JOINT EF­FORT AICTE reg­u­la­tions for twin­ning cour­ses re­quire an In­dian in­sti­tu­tion to have a valid NBA grade for one year

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Gauri Kohli Aye­sha Ban­er­jee

Uni­ver­si­ties seek­ing twin­ning pro­grammes with for­eign aca­demic i nsti­tutes now need top ac­cred­i­ta­tion grades and ap­provals f rom re gu­la­tory agen­cies.

T h e U n i ve r s i t y G r a n t s Com­mis­sion ( UGC) re­cently is­sued reg­u­la­tions on the col­lab­o­ra­tions, al­though the Al­lIn­dia Coun­cil for Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion ( AICTE) al­ready has pro­vi­sions for such tie-ups. Through th­ese col­lab­o­ra­tions uni­ver­si­ties aim to in­crease syn­ergy be­tween In­dian and for­eign aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions, i mprove t heir cur­ricu­lum, de­liv­ery of knowl­edge and ed­u­ca­tional con­tent. Stu­dents also get ad­di­tional choices.

The UGC ( Pro­mo­tion and Main­te­nance of Stan­dards of Aca­demic Col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween In­dian and For­eign Ed­u­ca­tional I nstit uti ons) Re gu­la­tions 2016, say t hat In­dian uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges with the high­est grade of ac­cred­i­ta­tion and those con­for ming to other el­i­gi­bil­ity con­di­tions laid down in the reg­u­la­tions can ap­ply on­line to the UGC to start twin­ning ar­range­ments with for­eign ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions (FEIs).

AICTE reg­u­la­tions for tech- nical twin­ning pro­gramme re­quire an In­dian univer­sity de­part­ment or in­sti­tu­tion to have a valid Na­tional Board of Ac­cred­i­ta­tion (NBA) ac­cred­i­ta­tion for one year be­yond April 10, 2017 for the course in which it seeks twin­ning.

No for­eign uni­ver­si­ties and in­sti­tu­tions can carry out any ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­ity in In­dia to award pro­grammes (diploma, post­grad­u­ate diploma, de­gree, post­grad­u­ate de­gree, post­grad­u­ate diploma, doc­toral) with­out spe­cific ap­proval from AICTE.

For­eign uni­ver­si­ties need ac­cred­i­ta­tion by au­tho­rised agen­cies in their coun­try be­fore they start of­fer­ing tech­ni­cal cour­ses.

The twin­ning pro­grammes that of­fer de­gree or post­grad­u­ate de g ree, diploma, post­grad­u­ate diploma will have the same nomen­cla­ture as in their coun­try.

Also, there will be no change in the aca­demic cur­ricu­lum, mode of de­liv­ery, pat­tern of ex­am­i­na­tion, etc.

The cour­ses also need to be recog­nised in their coun­try. The for­eign in­sti­tu­tion and the In­dian part­ner in­sti­tu­tion will have to sign a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) to of­fer twin­ning cour­ses. Be­sides, the In­dian in­sti­tu­tion and the con­cerned af­fil­i­at­ing univer­sity/ board of tech­ni­cal ed­u­ca­tion in the re­spec­tive states also have to sign MoUs for this pur­pose. The de­gree will be awarded by the for­eign in­sti­tu­tion and in its par­ent coun­try.

Ac­cord­ing to Anil D Sa­hasrabudhe, chair man, AICTE, t he t win­ning pro- grammes will help stu­dents get ex­po­sure to what is be­ing fol­lowed glob­ally in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor. They will be able to im­prove their ca­pa­bil­i­ties, be­come glob­ally com­pet­i­tive and more em­ploy­able.

“In­sti­tu­tions can get the best of the two sys­tems of ed­u­ca­tion, learn lessons, im­prove the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion and get bet­ter brand­ing,” he says.

As per the As­so­ci­a­tion of I ndian Uni­ver­si­ties ( AIU), ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions have to ad­here to UGC reg­u­la­tions and/ or AICTE guide­lines if they want equiv­a­lence for for­eign de­grees awarded for stud­ies un­der­taken in In­dia.

“One im­por­tant as­pect is wher­ever such col­lab­o­ra­tion is done, a stu­dent has to spend at least one se­mes­ter in a for­eign in­sti­tute in case of a two-year (four-se­mes­ter) pro­gramme or a one year (two semesters) course in case of a four- year ( eightsemester) pro­gramme. This gives ex­cel­lent first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of for­eign ed­u­ca­tion to stu­dents,” says Sa­hasrabudhe. Univer­sity of Ed­in­burgh, known for its re­search, is at­tract­ing a num­ber of In­di­ans through its mas­sive open on­line cour­ses or MOOCs. And they’re log­ging on to learn lessons on two vastly dif­fer­ent themes – phi­los­o­phy and foot­ball!

Of the 2.2 mil­lion par­tic­i­pants on Ed­in­burgh MOOCs, an av­er­age of 7% of over­all par­tic­i­pants have come from In­dia. This trans­lates as 150,000 over­all en­rol­ments and 75,000 ac­tive par­tic­i­pants across all cour­ses on all plat­forms used by the univer­sity, in­clud­ing EdX and Cours­era.

Prof Sir Ti­mothy O’Shea, prin­ci­pal and vice chan­cel­lor of the univer­sity, who is cur­rently re­search­ing MOOCs, ex­presses sur­prise at the In­di­ans’ in­ter­est l evels. For Cours­era’s In­tro­duc­tion to Phi­los­o­phy, In­di­ans com­prise 6.1% of 33,6298 vis­i­tors and 12,3189 ac­tive learn­ers. For Foot­ball, More Than a Game by Fu­tureLearn, 9% of 619 join­ers are In­di­ans. “High school stu­dents join as learn­ers ask­ing what it might be like in univer­sity as they don’t have phi­los­o­phy in school,” he adds.

In­volved with e-learn­ing for a long time O’Shea says he was “lucky” to be in Stan­ford in 2012 when the first suc­cess­ful MOOC was done to reach more than 100,000 peo­ple.

And there have been no end to sur­prises. The best course com­ple­tion num­bers were logged at Ed­in­burgh Univer­sity’s MOOC on I ntro­duc­tion t o Equine Nu­tri­tion. Peo­ple “came from all over. It was a bit ob­scure, re­ally, and we t hought t he rea­son was that a ma­jor­ity of peo­ple who were do­ing it had a horse and ev­ery­body was se­ri­ous. They wanted to have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of how to feed their horses or al­ter­na­tively they were in­ter­ested in se­ri­ous vet­eri­nary stud­ies. So it had very good re­ten­tion,” he says. On future MOOCs, us­ing the ecol­ogy metaphor, O’Shea’s view is that they will fit into the univer­sity ecol­ogy. It will be like the im­por­tant lec­ture series on cam­puses but with more ac­cess for any­one who chooses t o at­tend. He also ex­pects MOOCs to be in­cluded in un­der­grad­u­ate cour­ses.

At Ed­in­burgh, video ma­te­rial from a MOOC with No­bel lau­re­ate Peter Higgs (he of the Higgs Bo­son fame) on un­der­stand­ing of the Higgs Bo­son was used for one of the univer­sity’s UG pro­grammes.

MOOCs will also be in­creas­ingly used with flipped class­rooms, pre­dicts O’Shea. Lec­tures are go­ing to be recorded and stu­dents will come to class just to in­ter­act with each other and ask ques­tions. They will be an im­por­tant part of a univer­sity’s ecol­ogy, he adds.

The ideal sce­nario would be to have cour­ses sim­i­lar to the one started by Ari­zona State Univer­sity for peo­ple who do not have the right qual­i­fi­ca­tions and get them ready to go to univer­sity – “So its go­ing to be a set of MOOCs on writ­ing and read­ing skills to get you into univer­sity. We know we need more ac­cess cour­ses in all coun­tries. We have a prob­lem with stu­dents from poorer fam­i­lies who find it hard to get the right cre­den­tials to get them ready to start univer­sity. Th­ese are the places for MOOCs to ex­ist, though I don’t think they will kill the con­ven­tional cour­ses, O’Shea says.

I MAGESBAZAAR/ I STOCK

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