Universities, HEIs Can Now Admit Students Twice a Year: UGC Chief

NEW DELHI – Starting from the academic session 2024-25, universities and higher education institutions (HEIs) in India will admit students twice a year, according to University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Jagdish Kumar. The new policy will introduce two admission cycles, one in July-August and another in January-February, aligning Indian universities with global practices.

“If Indian universities can offer admission twice a year, it will benefit many students. Such as those who missed admission due to delays in board results, health problems, or personal reasons,” UGC Chairman Kumar explained, emphasising that this change would help students maintain motivation by not having to wait a full year for the next admission cycle.

Currently, HEIs admit students only once a year, starting in July-August, with the academic session ending in May-June. The UGC’s decision to adopt biannual admissions follows the success of similar models in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) and online programmes.

The UGC decided to allow biannual admissions for ODL and online modes last July. An overwhelming response to these programmes led to a policy decision to extend the model to regular programmes.

The UGC’s portal data shows that 19,73,056 students enrolled in July 2022, with another 4,28,854 enrolling in ODL and online programmes in January 2023. This demonstrated the high demand and feasibility of biannual admissions.

Kumar pointed out that the new system is not mandatory but offers flexibility to HEIs. “Institutions with the required infrastructure and faculty can avail the opportunity to admit students twice a year. This is the flexibility that UGC provides to HEIs wanting to increase their student intake and offer new programmes in emerging areas,” he said. HEIs need to amend their regulations to facilitate this transition.

The UGC chairman highlighted several benefits of biannual admissions, including improved employment opportunities for graduates as industries can recruit from campuses twice a year. “Industries can also recruit from their campuses twice a year, which will improve the employment opportunities for graduates,” Kumar said.

Additionally, this policy will enable HEIs to plan resource allocation, such as faculty, labs, classrooms, and support services, more effectively. “The biannual admissions would enable HEIs to plan the allocation of their resources more effectively, resulting in better functioning within the university,” Kumar said.

The move is also expected to boost international cooperation and student exchange programmes, enhancing India’s global competitiveness in higher education. “If Indian institutions adopt the new admission cycle, they can increase their international cooperation and student exchange. As a result, our global competitiveness will improve, and we will be at par with global education standards,” Kumar added.

Furthermore, the biannual admissions could significantly increase the overall enrolment ratio and make India a ‘global study destination’ as envisioned in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

However, Kumar cautioned that the success of this transition depends on thorough preparation. “HEIs can increase the effectiveness of the new policy only if they adequately prepare faculty members, staff, and students for the transition,” he concluded.


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