ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Four-year Undergraduate Programme

Boon or Bane of the NEP 2020

The plan to transition from a three-year to a four-year undergraduate programme has implications on the standard of higher education. Many universities have adopted the FYUP by an executive order of the government without any regulation of the University Grants Commission or proper deliberation. The article notes that FYUP is not a boon and rather may adversely affect the quality with a greater move towards the vocationalisation of undergraduate education. It may also lead to a chaotic situation with the multiple entry and exit options, and create a hierarchy of degree structures causing confusion in the labour market.

The National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 suggests four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) with multiple entry and exit options to the students, allowing certificate, diploma, and degree at the end of first, second, and third year, respectively. It notes that the FYUP shall allow “the opportunity to exp­erience the full range of holistic and multidisciplinary education in addition to a focus on the chosen major and minors as per the choices of the student” (NEP 2020: 37). The FYUP shall be a ­degree with a research component provided that the student completes a rigorous research project in the major. The argument in favour of a shift to FYUP is that it will provide opportunities for multidisciplinary work as per the needs of the labour market. It is claimed it will promote higher specialisation in the four-year programme with research in major. The currently prevalent rigid bound­aries between the subjects will be done away with and thereby allow greater freedom of choice to the students. It is believed to create possibilities of lifelong learning allowing the learner to enter the portals of higher education learning.

Besides these advantages, the NEP 2020 further notes the preconditions for the programme, making faculty and institutional autonomy in curricula essential. With respect to pedagogy, it suggests that there shall be increased emphasis on communication, discussion, debate, research, and opportunities for cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary thinking. It encourages the faculty to think of an imaginative and flexible curricular structure for creative combinations of disciplines and multiple exit options. It suggests the projects and internship in the curriculum on issues such as community engagement, environment, value, global citizenship education. For incorporating projects and internship, the credit system needs to be revised. The assessment system in the FYUP shall be such that each learning goal will be transparently and continuously assessed, removing the possibility of rote learning.

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Updated On : 27th Feb, 2023
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