UGC Released Norms For Online Degree Programmes

Online Degree Programmes

The UGC (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Degree Programmes) Regulations, 2020, were informed on Friday. It laid the framework for online degrees as well as distance learning programmes.

On 6th September the higher education regulator University Grants Commission (UGC) released directives for online degree programmes. It laid the framework for online degrees as well as distance learning programmes. The UGC has taken a major step by allowing universities, colleges and higher educational institutions to run online degree programmes. The UGC (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020, were notified on Friday.

National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accredited universities with no less than a score of 3.01 out of 4 can apply for organizing online degrees and distance learning programmes for the students. Also, the universities which fall under the category of ‘Top 100 Universities’ ranking can apply for the same.

The educational institutions have been closed since March due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the educational institutions have turned to online classes in this pandemic. Online education has surely gained much attention due to the restrictions imposed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Also, it is the only way available with the institutions to continue the education of the students,

HEIs That Can Offer Online Degree Programmes

A higher educational institution would be eligible to offer only those degree and diploma programmes in courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels which are already being offered in the colleges or institutions as classroom programmes through online degree and distance learning modes. Also, the higher educational institutions must have at least one batch of graduates in those courses.

Any programme or course which requires practical learning or laboratory training as a curriculum requirement can’t be offered through online degree programs, except in cases where the practical learning is limited to programming and coding, which includes software tools.

Other than Open Universities, the higher educational institutions shall have a designated Center for Distance and Online Education (CDOE). CDOD will be headed by a director to initiate and operationalize the programmes as per the framework.

The norms released by UGC for online programmes are set to have provisions that stipulate teachers specifically for online degree programmes and distance learning modes.

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