EdTech companies to face UGC action for offering unapproved online foreign courses

UGC to take action against EdTech companies offering foreign degree and diploma courses online without approval. In a public notice issued by the UGC, it mandates that no foreign higher educational institution shall offer any programme in India without the prior approval of the commission.

Moreover, the commission also stated that it mandates the (Higher Educational Institutions) HEls shall not offer programmes under any franchise arrangement and such programmes shall not be recognised by UGC.

In a public notice, the UGC stated that no foreign higher educational institution can offer any programme in India without the prior approval of the commission.

This comes as the Delhi High Court in September directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to take necessary action against the universities and colleges offering unspecified degrees and ensure compliance with the law, including penal provisions on the issue.

“Action will also be taken against all the defaulting EdTech companies as well as the HEls under applicable laws, rules and regulations,” the notice mentioned.

The notice also mentioned that many higher-education institutions (HEIs) and colleges have entered into collaborative agreements and arrangements with foreign-based educational institutions and providers not recognised by the Commission and have been facilitating the issuance of degrees to the students enrolled in those institutions and colleges from such foreign-based educational institutions and educational providers.

“Any such kind of collaboration or arrangement is not recognised by the University Grants Commission and accordingly, the degrees issued after such collaboration and arrangement are also not recognised by the Commission,” the UGC notice stated.

Meanwhile, earlier on 7 December, the UGC approved a set of guidelines for the introduction of short-term skill development courses in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs), specifying the course and fee structure, target group, focus areas and involvement of private industry. While speaking to news agency ANI, UGC chairman M Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar said, “UGC approved the Guidelines for the Introduction of Short-Term Skill Development Courses in Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs). We will soon be making this draft for public feedback.”

“The document mentions that anyone who has passed the 10 2/Senior Secondary Examination or its equivalent and is eligible for admission to any undergraduate programme of the HEI will be eligible. The HEI shall offer credit-linked short-term skill development certificate courses of 3-6 months,” the UGC chairman said.

“The HEI shall use a credit mechanism to design the course structure. A short-term skill development course in any stream shall be at least 12 credits and a maximum of 30 credits. The short-term skill development course must have a greater focus on practical learning. The HEIs may develop a plan to facilitate employment opportunities and internships for the successful students completing the short-term skill development course,” Jagadesh Kumar said.

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Published: 16 Dec 2023, 01:31 PM IST

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