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Higher education institutions can admit students twice a year, says UGC Chairman

1 month ago 43

NEW DELHI: In a significant policy shift, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to allow

higher education institutions

(HEIs) in India to admit students twice a year starting from the 2024-25

academic session

. This change, aimed at aligning Indian universities with international practices and enhancing flexibility, was announced by

UGC

Chairman Professor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, as reported by PTI.
Currently, Indian HEIs follow an academic session that begins in July-August and ends in May-June, admitting students only once a year. Under the new policy, admissions will also be conducted in January-February, offering two admission cycles per year. Professor Kumar explained that this move is designed to benefit students who miss the initial admission window due to delays in board exam results, health issues, or personal reasons. By allowing

biannual admissions

, students will not have to wait a full year to enroll if they miss the July-August cycle.
The policy was influenced by the success of biannual admissions in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) and online modes, which the UGC permitted in its 571st meeting. According to data from the UGC DEB portal, the introduction of two admission cycles in these modes led to nearly half a million additional enrollments, demonstrating strong student interest and the practicality of this approach. Given this positive response, the UGC extended the policy to regular mode programs.
Professor Kumar highlighted that biannual admissions will help HEIs manage their resources more effectively. With the ability to plan faculty, lab, classroom, and support service utilization twice a year, universities can achieve a smoother operational flow. This system is already in place at many global institutions, and adopting it could enhance international collaborations and student exchanges, thereby improving India’s global educational competitiveness.
However, Professor Kumar emphasized that biannual admissions would not be mandatory for HEIs. Institutions with the necessary infrastructure and faculty can choose to adopt this system to increase student intake and introduce new programs in emerging fields. He noted that HEIs would need to amend their institutional regulations to facilitate twice-yearly admissions.
The UGC Chairman underscored the broader impact of this policy on the education sector. Biannual admissions could significantly increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) and support the vision of making India a "Global Study Destination" as outlined in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. To maximize the benefits, HEIs must carefully plan for the administrative and logistical challenges of admitting students at different times of the year. This includes ensuring faculty and staff are prepared for the transition and that adequate support systems are in place for the seamless integration of students into their programs.

Professor Kumar also pointed out the potential employment benefits of biannual admissions. With two recruitment cycles each year, industries can conduct campus recruitments more frequently, enhancing job opportunities for graduates. This alignment with industry needs is expected to make graduates more employable and better prepared for the workforce.
(With inputs from agencies)

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