UGC proposes 6 levels of educational attainment for higher education students

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New Delhi: The draft National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF) focusses on creating a benchmark to ensure quality education and job-readiness. It proposes certain parameters of assessment of higher education students and lays down six levels of qualification to assess them based on learning outcomes.

The draft document was recently released by the University Grants Commission (UGC) as part of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. When the NEP is finalised, the higher education institutes across the country would be brought under a new framework.

The NHEQF is an instrument for the development, classification, and recognition of qualifications along a continuum of levels from 5 to 10, with levels 1 to 4 of the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) covering school education, states the UGC.

The higher levels
The higher 6 levels of eligibility corresponds to the undergraduate certificate that a student gets after one year of study at the undergraduate (UG) level to post–graduation and academic doctorate, i.e., Doctor of Philosophy degree or Phd.

Level 5 represents the learning outcomes appropriate to the first year of the UG programme. The completion of 2 semesters in the first year of undergraduation and 10 credit bridge courses that include a two-month vocational course will make the student eligible for an UG certificate.

Students may opt for further levels like this. Moreover, the students can exit the programme with an eligibility certificate and enter employment.

Level 10 is the highest, representing learning outcomes with greater complexity to the doctoral–level programs of study.

As part of the NHEQF, a four-year honors/research UG programme has been proposed. The regular three-year UG programme will continue. The four-year programme is equivalent to the learning outcomes of first year of PG studies (Level 8). Meanwhile, the students who complete the four-year UG programme could finish the PG (Level 9) in just one year.

Bases of valuation
The parameters to assess and classify learning achievements at every level include knowledge and understanding of theory; cognitive and technical skills; application of knowledge and skills; decision-making abilities; constitutional, humanistic, ethical and moral values; employment-ready skills and the entrepreneurship mindset.

Give your feedback
The UGC has now invited suggestions and opinions from the public and various stakeholders on the NHEQF. The suggestions could be sent until 13 February to the email address:


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