Four years of study for a degree is not mandatory, says Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education Vice-Chairman

Four-year honours degree in a single major from 2023-24 academic year gives students the choice of opting out even after three years of study and receive a certificate for it, says  K. Rama Mohana Rao

July 17, 2023 12:54 am | Updated 04:58 am IST - VIJAYAWADA

The students who opt for the fourth year of study will be awarded an honours degree such as BA (Honours) or B.Sc (Honours), clarifies APSCHE Vice-Chairman K. Rama Mohana Rao. File

The students who opt for the fourth year of study will be awarded an honours degree such as BA (Honours) or B.Sc (Honours), clarifies APSCHE Vice-Chairman K. Rama Mohana Rao. File | Photo Credit: G.N. Rao

It is not mandatory for a student to study for four years to get a degree in Andhra Pradesh, says Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) Vice-Chairman K. Rama Mohana Rao.

Speaking to The Hindu on July 16 (Sunday), Prof. Rama Mohana Rao said in view of the lack of clarity among students seeking admission in degree courses about multiple entry and exit options given as part of the National Education Policy (NEP), it is important for them to understand that the 4-year honours degree in single major from the 2023-24 academic year gives them the choice of opting out even after three years of study and receive a certificate for it.

“A student who takes admission in the 4-year honours programme in BA/B.Sc/B.Com/ BBA/BCA/BMS need not necessarily complete all the four years of study to obtain a degree. It is optional for the student to complete all four years,” clarifies the Vice-Chairman of the council, informing that students who want to make an exit after the usual three years of study will be given the regular degree. “Only the students who opt for the fourth year of study will be awarded an honours degree such as BA (Honours) or B.Sc (Honours),” he clarified.

Multiple entry and exit options

He said the curricular framework for the newly introduced 4-year UG honours degree Programme has in-built multiple entry and exit options. After completing the first year of study, he explained, a student would be awarded a certificate in the respective discipline.

“Such students can re-enter the education system within the next three years. Similarly, a student making an exit after two years of study will be awarded a diploma in that discipline and can re-join the third year within the next three years,” he explained.

After three years of study, a student will have the option to make an exit and receive a degree certificate. He or she can join the fourth year of study within the next three years. Unlike in the past, students breaking the cycle of regular study after the first and second years will be given a recognised certificate and a diploma respectively. They can re-enter the education system as and when they are ready within the prescribed time period.

Advantages

Speaking about the advantages of the new system, Prof. Rama Mohana Rao said that students who need to discontinue their education due to personal reasons can make an exit with the appropriate certification, ensuring that their learning achievements are recognised and re-enter the education system later and continue their studies without starting from the scratch.

Students who desire to leave formal education can leave the system with a choice to pursue education at their convenience without any supplementary tags, he said.

The Vice-Chairman of the council said the provision of multiple entry and exit points was aimed at a flexible education system where students could exercise the freedom to switch between different programmes, institutions, or learning formats based on their evolving interests, aptitudes or life situations. “The flexibility will help in accommodating diverse learning needs and ensure that education remains accessible to all,” he said.

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