NEP 2020: Impact On Higher Education

The most significant highlight of NEP 2020 is the proposal to set up the Higher Education Commission of India.

NEP 2020 was a welcoming change and fresh news amid all the negativities surrounding the world in 2020. The announcement of NEP 2020 was purely unanticipated by many. The changes that NEP 2020 has suggested were something that many educationists never saw coming. The education policy has impacted school and college education equally, and this article will focus on NEP 2020 and its impact on Higher Education mainly. The effects will be surreal. Here are the top four major points that stand out with great level change for higher education:  

The most significant highlight of NEP 2020 is the proposal to set up the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), a single overarching umbrella body for higher education, excluding medical and legal education. HECI has four independent verticals - National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation, General Education Council (GEC) for standard-setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding, and National Accreditation Council (NAC) for accreditation. In a country, to have uniformity in education standards, a single umbrella body was always a requirement. Multiple independent governing bodies led to many standardization issues across institutions, and along with that, any improvement plan to be implemented in this higher education domain took years. If the proposed plan is implemented, uniformity and coordination for all institutions in this country will be much easier. Process changes will be easily implemented and effective too.  

The second highlight of the proposal is to introduce a single university entrance exam conducted by the National Testing Agency. Earlier, to seek admission across various universities, a student had to go through the burden of multiple examinations plus the varied difficulty level of question papers across many central universities. If this plan is implemented, a student can give one entrance exam and get saved from the burden of many. At the same time, the question paper's level will be standardized, error-free as NTA conducts it, and the admission process will be streamlined.  

The policy also allows universities to set up offshore campuses as well as many foreign universities can now set up institutes in India. This move is welcoming indeed. It will lead to competition, talent flow, and key practices from the outside to India, which will ultimately lead to a great deal of improvement in the country's education standards. It will also provide real exposure to children, and probably there would come a day where students can afford global education in India, instead of spending lakhs in another country.  

The focus on having multi-disciplinary colleges in every district by 2030 is a promising idea as well. It will renew the countries' focus on arts, humanities, and a multi-disciplinary form of education to ensure that our students are skilled well for the career ahead. Remote learning of concepts has kept our students very far behind in terms of skills so far.  

With this policy, I can foresee Gross Enrollment Ratio rising for the country as well as multiple entry and exit options at the undergraduate level have been proposed to be allowed. The academic bank of credit will help store credits, and the concept of credits will finally get more weightage in India. However, the students today will have the freedom to experiment with what they have to learn and have the flexibility in it.   

In the end, it is important to point out that these policies have all been proposed, and there is a long way to go before the implementation rolls out. The policies and the suggested changes look great on paper, and they would change the face of the Indian education system in the years to come, but that would depend on how they are approached and implemented.  

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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