The University of Delhi (DU) is mulling over restarting 4-year undergraduate (UG) programmes once again as part of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 implementation strategy. DU had introduced the Four-Year Undergraduate Programmes (FYUP) in 2014 but had to discontinue them due to students’ and teachers’ protests and concerns.
Pankaj Arora, professor, Central Institute of Education (CIE), DU, who is also a member of the university’s special committee responsible for the implementation of NEP 2020, tells Education Times that the varsity is all set to bring back the FYUP from the next academic session.
“Various structures of FYUP are being discussed. The focus is to make UG programmes a traditional degree, where students can leap from being a young adolescent to a responsible citizen. Earlier, the FYUP had no policy-level strength, but this time, it will have legal and academic validation. A mandatory component of internship will also be included along with lessons on life-skills, commercial mathematics and constitution,” Arora says.
If the proposed idea is implemented then students will not get an honours degree in three years, language courses and smaller departments not offering honours courses will close down. Besides, if students choose to exit from the course after the first and second year, they will get a certificate and diploma, respectively.
Sachin N, professor of English literature at Dyal Singh College calls NEP a touted policy and FYUP a means to attack public-funded education.
“Multiple-exit points are not beneficial as they will produce under-qualified professionals who will not be able to meet the market demands. An additional year of UG course will also increase the overall cost of education. Since, public-funded institutions are highly sought-after by students from tier II, tied III cities, the move will create a higher education crisis bigger than 2014 when the idea was originally introduced,” he adds.
To familiarise students with basic research, papers on research writing, methodology and a field-based project will also be introduced in the 4-year UG courses.
Indrajeet Dagar, principal, College of Vocational Studies (CVS), says that the FYUP failed earlier as they were launched only in DU, but now the concept has become a part of the national-level policy. “Devoting a year of UG courses to research will not only allow students to enter the ecosystem early but also improve the university’s international rankings, as most world rankings provide high weightage to research output,” he says.
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