UGC Allows Students to Pursue 2 Degrees Simultaneously, Asks Universities to Make Statutory Changes

Students can now pursue two full-time academic programmes in physical mode provided that they do not have overlapping class times.

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On Friday, the University Grants Commission (UGC) released a set of guidelines that would allow students to pursue two full-time degrees simultaneously in physical mode. This means that students will now be able to attend classes and receive instruction for two academic programs at the same time. The UGC had approved this proposal back in April, but the guidelines were only just notified on Friday.

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"All the Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) were requested to devise mechanisms through its statutory bodies for allowing students to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously. It is once again requested that in the larger interest of the students, implementation of the said scheme may kindly be ensured and expedited, if not done so far," the UGC wrote in a letter to universities.

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The UGC guidelines now allow students to pursue two full-time academic programmes in physical mode, as long as the class timings for one programme do not overlap with the class timings of the other programme. However, this does not apply for PhD programmes.

“The objective of allowing a student to pursue two degrees simultaneously stem from recognising, identifying, and fostering the unique capabilities of each student, no hard separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extracurricular activities, between vocational and academic streams, etc. and enabling an individual to study one or more specialized areas of interest at a deep level, and also develop character, ethical and constitutional values…,” the guidelines stated.

These guidelines will be put into effect starting September 30, 2022 and students will not be able to claim any benefits retroactively. “Degree or diploma programmes under ODL (Open and Distance Learning) and Online mode can only be pursued with HEIs that are recognised by UGC, Statutory Council and the Government of India for running such programmes. “Degree or diploma programmes under these guidelines will be governed by the Regulations notified by the UGC and also the respective statutory/professional councils, wherever applicable,” it said.

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