Students can pursue 2 degrees simultaneously in multiple colleges

The government announced that students can now pursue two full-time and same-level degree courses in physical mode simultaneously at the same university or from different universities. The University Grants Commission (UGC), in an announcement, said this option will be available to students from the 2022-23 academic session.

The provision for “dual degree programmes” will also help ease the rules for academic collaborations between Indian and foreign universities. Now both the Indian and foreign institutions will be able to give separate and simultaneous degrees for a course of the same discipline, and at the same level.

“As announced in the new National Education Policy (NEP) and in order to allow students to acquire multiple skills, UGC is coming up with new guidelines to allow a candidate to pursue two degree programmes in physical mode simultaneously,” UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar said in a press conference. 

UGC Chairman Kumar said “The degrees can either be pursued from the same or different universities. Students will also be allowed to pursue two degree programmes in physical and online mode simultaneously,” Kumar said.

Kumar also added that it will not be mandatory for any university or a council to adopt these guidelines, but the commission is hoping that more and more institutions will allow students to pursue two degrees together. “Once the guidelines are sent to institutions and statutory bodies, they will be free to adopt it in the manner that suits them,” the UGC chairman said. As the first option students can pursue both academic programmes in physical mode provided that in such cases, class timings for one programme do not overlap with the class timings of the other programme. Secondly they can pursue one programme in physical mode and another in online or distance mode. Lastly they can pursue up to two degree programmes in online or distance mode simultaneously.

  • For now, the two degrees will only be non-technical programmes that are approved by the UGC.
  • The two degree courses can be a combination of subjects from different streams, that is humanities, science and commerce.
  • Admission to the two degrees will be granted depending on the eligibility of the student and the availability of programmes.

The attendance requirement for the programmes will be decided by respective colleges and institutions, UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar said.

The process and eligibility for admission will be decided by the respective institutions, he said. “If a university requires a student to sit for CUET (Common University Entrance Test), they will have to do that, if another institution he or she is looking at does not have such a test then they will have to follow that particular institution’s admission process,” Kumar explained.

Kumar also clarified that the students will not be allowed to use credits earned in one programme to fulfill the requirement of another programme.

“Each programme has its own credit requirements and they have to fulfil that. They can use one set of credits for two degrees,” he said.

According to the notification by the UGC, exam dates of the two degree course will be decided by the institutes. “If two institutions have an MoU and have decided to let each others’ students pursue two simultaneous degrees then they can work out the examination schedule easily,” he said.

Asked if a similar option is available in other countries, Kumar said that “it could be that some country offers the flexibility but if not, India could be the first one to opt for this higher education reform”.

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