UGC Guidelines for Apprenticeship/Internship embedded Degree Programme

UGC has framed Guidelines for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to offer Apprenticeship/Internship embedded Degree Programme and will provide an option for HEIs to embed Apprenticeship/Internship in any UG degree programmes specified by UGC. The much desired Guidelines were released by union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on the sidelines of “Transformational Reforms in Higher Education under #NationalEducationPolicy“  conclave on August 7 at which PM delivered his keynote on NEP 2020.

“Credits for apprenticeship/internship programme shall be included in the total credits of the entire programme.  At least 20% of the total Credits for the degree programme should be assigned to apprenticeship/internship, “the guidelines say. Students graduating from the apprenticeship/internship embedded degree programme will be eligible to take admission in the Master’s programme in the specific subject in which they have earned their undergraduate degree (i.e. bachelor degree) as well as in subject(s) for which they have taken 24 credits in the core subjects as a part of their undergraduate programme.

Experts feel that degree apprenticeship is the Nayi Talim for 21st century that Gandhiji envisaged way back in 1937, however it got lost because post 1947 education policy ignored skill development.  This new announcement can change the apprenticeships landscape in India and bring it at par with other leading countries like UK, Germany , China and Japan.

Any UG degree programme in all disciplines as specified by the UGC under section 22 (3) of the UGC Act, 1956 is eligible to embed apprenticeship/ internshipin to the degree programme. Similarly any apprenticeship/internship embedded degree programme shall be treated at par with the UG degree programmes specified by the UGC under section 22 (3) of the UGC Act, 1956. Any UG degree programme will have an option to embed at least one semester of apprenticeship/internship as part of the degree programme without altering the total duration of the programme.

The HEIs in consultation with Sector Skill Councils, AICTE, FICCI, CII, commercial and non-commercial organizations or enterprises, and industry would design the apprenticeship/internship embedded degree programme in a way consistent with these guidelines. These HEIs may plan the number of seats for apprenticeship/internship training as per the facility and infrastructure available.

Institutions may opt for any mechanism for the apprenticeship/ internship assessment in consultation with commercial or non-commercial organisations or enterprises, or offices, or industry, or industry associations, or sector skill councils where the apprenticeship/internship is proposed to be imparted. The apprenticeship/internship can also be done within the ambit of National Apprenticeship Training Scheme (NATS) operated by Bureau of Apprenticeship Training (BOAT) under MHRD.

This programme will benefit the HEIs in promoting Industry-Academia linkages , improving credibility and in brand building  and placements.

Sumit Kumar, Vice President – NETAP, TeamLease in his reaction feels the announcement by UGC is a much needed move.  “Historically, the education system has churned out qualified people but not necessarily capable and job ready people. And on the other hand apprenticeships was churning skilled people but wasn’t scaling up due to poor social signalling value amongst the youth. Degree Apprenticeships with choice based credit systems will revolutionize the learning ecosystem. Blending apprenticeship with higher education under the New Education Policy – NEP (with entry – exit flexibility and technology intervention) will be able to deliver on  – (1) Improving accessibility and affordability of quality education, (2) Bridging the skill deficit in the industry, (3) Enhancing youth employability. With this we can surely achieve the milestone of 15 million apprentices with ease. “