Highlights of NEP 2020 for higher education

Dimapur: Single-stream HEIs will be phased out over time, all will move towards becoming vibrant multidisciplinary institutions

BY | Friday, 4 August, 2023

1. Enrollment: The main thrust of NEP 2020 regarding higher education is to end the fragmentation of higher education by transforming higher education institutions into large multidisciplinary universities, colleges, and HEI clusters/Knowledge Hubs, each of which will aim to have 3,000 or more students.

2. Multidisciplinary universities: Moving to large multidisciplinary universities and HEI clusters is thus the highest recommendation of this policy regarding the structure of higher education.

3. Autonomous degree-granting college: NEP 2020 envisaged that every college would develop into either an Autonomous degree-granting college, or a constituent college of a university – in the latter case, it would be fully a part of the university.

4. Multidisciplinary institutions: By 2040, all higher education institutions (HEIs) shall aim to become multidisciplinary institutions and shall aim to have larger student enrolments preferably in the thousands, for optimal use of infrastructure and resources, and for the creation of vibrant multidisciplinary communities. Since this process will take time, all HEIs will firstly plan to become multidisciplinary by 2030, and then gradually increase student strength to the desired levels.

5. Large multidisciplinary HEI: By 2030, be at least one large multidisciplinary HEI in or near every district. Steps shall be taken towards developing high-quality higher education institutions both public and private that have medium of instruction in local/Indian languages or bilingually.

6. Open Distance Learning: Institutions will have the option to run Open Distance Learning (ODL) and online programmes.

7. Multidisciplinary institutions: Single-stream HEIs will be phased out over time, and all will move towards becoming vibrant multidisciplinary institutions or parts of vibrant multidisciplinary HEI clusters, in order to enable and encourage high-quality multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary teaching and research across fields. Single-stream HEIs will, in particular, add departments across different fields that would strengthen the single stream that they currently serve.

8. Benchmarks: All colleges currently affiliated to a university shall attain the required benchmarks over time to secure the prescribed accreditation benchmarks and eventually become autonomous degree-granting colleges. This will be achieved through a concerted national effort including suitable mentoring and governmental support for the same.

9. Institutional Development Plan: Each institution will integrate its academic plans ranging from curricular improvement to quality of classroom transaction – into its larger Institutional Development Plan (IDP).

10. Foreign institutions: Research/teaching collaborations and faculty/student exchanges with high-quality foreign institutions will be facilitated, and relevant mutually beneficial MOUs with foreign countries will be signed. High performing Indian universities will be encouraged to set up campuses in other countries, and similarly, selected universities e.g., those from among the top 100 universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India.

11. Counseling systems: NEP 2020 requires that every education institution have counseling systems for handling stress and emotional adjustments.

12. Teacher: Teaching duties also will not be excessive, and student-teacher ratios not too high, so that the activity of teaching remains pleasant and there is adequate time for interaction with students, conducting research, and other university activities. Faculty will be appointed to individual institutions and generally not be transferable across institutions so that they may feel truly invested in, connected to, and committed to their institution and community.

13. Technology integration: The integration of technology in education to enhance learning outcomes and make education more accessible, especially in the context of online and digital learning.

Dr R K Behera, Principal, Livingstone Foundation International College, (Affiliated to Nagaland University), Thahekhu/Kevijau, Dimapur, Nagaland

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