The ABCs of changing college courses if and when you want under NEP 2020

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July 29 marked one year since the launch of the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020. occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the “University Credit Bank” program which opens the way to multiple entry and exit options for higher education students. Promoted as a revolutionary reform, the Center said it would lead to a reduction in dropouts and an improvement in the enrollment rate. What this implies in the field is more flexibility for college students to choose their subjects and pursue the course they want.

What is academic credit banking?

Saying that an undergraduate degree will be 3 or 4 years in duration, NEP 2020 had considered several exit options during this period for students starting as early as the end of the first year of college. NEP said a student can earn a certificate after completing their first year in any subject, including vocational and vocational courses. Complete two years and she is eligible for a degree while a bachelor’s degree would be awarded after a 3-year program.

To this extent, the NEP had stated that an Academic Credit Bank (ABC) would be set up to “digitally store academic credits obtained from various recognized higher education institutions (HEIs) so that the degrees of an HEI may be awarded based on account credits earned “.

On July 28 of this year, the Center notified the 2021 regulation of the University Grants Commission (establishment and operation of the academic credit bank in higher education), thus officially freeing the bridges for the official launch of the initiative.

How will ABC help you?

The Center said that the ABC program will be applicable to all Indian universities at central or state level, reputable universities and autonomous colleges. A key objective of NEP 2020 is to provide flexibility to students regarding the choice of subjects as well as the prescribed trajectory for pursuing higher education.

Look at it this way: a student is entering a private lesson at a certain college. But a year later, she might find that she had better take a different path. Or, for family or financial reasons, she may not be able to continue in this college. In the normal course of things, she should give up. If she enrolls in another college, she loses a year and the fees she paid during that time. And, if she comes back to school later, even in this scenario, she wasted a year and money spent in college.

NEP 2020 offers a solution to these students by providing a “creative combination of study disciplines with multiple entry and exit points”. The idea is to “remove rigid borders and create new possibilities for students to choose and learn the subjects of their choice.”. What he further seeks to achieve is “transparent student mobility between or within” a college through a “formal system of credit recognition, credit accumulation, credit transfers and repurchase of credits ”. It is in this respect that the ABC takes all its importance.

What is the credit system?

According to the notification from the UGC, a “credit” is awarded at the end of “one hour of theory or one hour of tutorial or two hours of laboratory work, per week for a period of one semester. (13-15 weeks) giving rise to the allocation of a credit “.

The ABC now allows a system of “credit accumulation”, which must be facilitated by the opening of a

Bank account (ABA) by students in order to transfer and consolidate the credits they have acquired in the course they are pursuing. ‘Credit recognition’ involves the transfer of credits earned by students to the ABC, while ‘credit transfer’ is the process by which HEIs can receive or provide credits in a student’s ABA.

UGC has stated that credits obtained at registered higher education institutions during or after the 2021-2022 academic year alone are eligible for credit transfer, credit accumulation and credit redemption through ABC. .

How can a student use the “credit” system?

Under the credit-based system, the multiple inputs and outputs option is available at both undergraduate and master’s level. To allow multiple entry and exit from HEIs, a student’s academic path is divided into ‘levels in ascending order from level 5 to level 10 (where) level 5 represents the certificate and level 10 represents the research diploma “.

Suppose you have just enrolled in the first year of an undergraduate course. You are therefore at level 5 of the credit system. By the end of the first year, you must have accumulated 36-40 credits, which would make you eligible for an undergraduate certificate. Now, suppose you leave the course. When you are ready to return to it, you will need to enter the second year, which is level 6. For this, you must have the certificate obtained after completing the first year of the undergraduate program. If you graduate at the end of this second year, you will get a degree for which you will need 72-80 credits from levels 5 to 6, with 36-40 credits at level 6.

For the third year of your undergraduate studies, you will need to meet the entry requirements for level 7, which is the two-year degree. After completing three years of college studies, you will graduate to Level 7, which requires 108-120 credits from Levels 5-7, with 36-40 credits at Level 5, 36-40 credits at Level 6, and 36- 40 credits at level 7.

Level 8 of a bachelor’s degree course involves honors / research and requires the student to have obtained the level 7 qualifications. “After meeting the requirements for a three-year bachelor’s degree, applicants who meet a minimum GPA 7.5 will be allowed to continue their education in the fourth year of the undergraduate program to continue and complete the bachelor’s degree with research, ”UGC said.

A similar structure governs postgraduate education. UGC said that “the validity of credits earned will be for a maximum period of seven years or as specified by the ABC”.

How to open an academic bank account?

The ABA is an individual account in the ABC which must be opened and managed by a student, “into which all academic credits earned by the student in the course (s) of study are deposited, recognized, maintained, accumulated , transferred, validated or redeemed for the purpose of awarding degrees / diplomas / certificates, etc. by an awarding institution “.

The ABC is described as an academic service mechanism that takes the form of a digital or virtual or online entity established by the UGC with the approval of the Center. It will allow “students to become its academic account holders, thus paving the way for flawless student mobility”.

Regarding the side entry system or changing of course, UGC said higher education institutions can reserve places in this regard “if the student has either (has) successfully completed the first year / second year / third year of the same program at any institution, or (b) already successfully completed a first degree program and wish and

academically capable of pursuing another undergraduate program in a related subject ”.

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