UGC to Revise Higher Education Guidelines Due to Changes in NSQF Norms

New Delhi, 25 May 2022 – The University Grants Commission (UGC) will be revising higher education guidelines given in the draft of the National Higher Education Qualifications Framework (NHEQF). As per the guidelines, the NHEQF established assessment parameters to qualify students of higher educational levels, ranging from undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma, to the PhD levels. 

However, there have been new changes in the guidelines of the National Skill Qualifications Framework (NSQF). Due to this, the guidelines established in NHEQF and NSQF are conflicting with each other. To avoid the conflict between the two norms, UGC has decided to revise the draft of the NHEQF parameters.  

Announcement  National Higher Education Qualifications Framework (NHEQF) parameters to be revised
Announcement Made By University Grants Commission (UGC) 
Reason for Change Conflict between the National Higher Education Qualifications Framework (NHEQF) and the National Skill Qualifications Framework (NSQF) parameters
Original NHEQF Guidelines Release Date 31 January 2022
When Will NHEQF Norms be Revised? Discussions have started from 25 May and will be concluded soon 
Publication of Revised Framework To be announcement after discussions are complete

UGC to Revise Higher Education Guidelines – What is the Conflict?

As per the draft of the NHEQF published on 30 January 2022, there would be a total of 6 levels of qualifications in higher education, starting from the undergraduate level up to the Master’s degree and PhD levels. The first year of study at the undergraduate level would be ‘level 5’ and PhD would be ‘level 10’. These levels will determine the qualification norms for each student.

However, the NSQF norms have fixed the levels from 4.5 to 8. Each level of these norms represents a different level of complexity, knowledge and autonomy, which is used to demonstrate the competence level for each student. 

Since both of these frameworks define different levels, there are conflicting indicators that might create confusion for students. This is why UGC has decided to revise the NHEQF norms. The discussions for the revision have begun from today – 25 May 2022 – and the revised parameters will be published after the discussions are concluded.  

What are the UGC NHEQF Levels that Will be Revised?

  • The NHEQF levels represent a series of sequential stages. These stages determine each student’s qualifications. 
  • NHEQF parameters begin from ‘Level 5’, which represents learning outcomes appropriate to the first year (first two semesters) of an undergraduate study.
  • The final level is ‘Level 10’ that represents learning outcomes appropriate to the doctoral-level of study.

Here is a breakdown of all the levels:

NHEQF Levels Level Description
Level 5 – Undergraduate Certificate Programme duration: First year (first two semesters) of the undergraduate programme. 
Level 6 – Undergraduate Diploma Programme duration: First two years (first four semesters) of the undergraduate programme
Level 7 – Bachelor’s Degree Programme duration: First three years (six semesters) of the four-year undergraduate programme. 
Level 8 – Bachelor’s Degree (Honours/Research) Programme duration: Four years (eight semesters). 
Level 8 – Postgraduate Diploma Programme duration: One year (two semesters) for those who exit after successful completion of the first year (two semesters) of the 2-year master’s degree programme. 
Level 9 – Master’s degree Programme duration: Two years (four semesters) after obtaining a bachelor’s degree. 
Level 9 – Master’s degree Programme duration: One year (two semesters) after obtaining a bachelor’s degree (Honours/Research)
Level 10  Doctoral degree 

 

Note: These levels are as per the original draft guidelines. UGC will revise them soon to avoid conflict with NSQF norms. 

TO READ THE ORIGINAL DRAFT OF NHEQF PARAMETERS, PLEASE CLICK HERE!

FAQs

Why is UGC revising the draft guidelines for higher education?

UGC is revising the draft guidelines for higher education to avoid conflict between NHEQF and NSQF norms.

When were the original NHEQF guidelines published?

The original guidelines were published on 30 January 2022.

When will the new higher education guidelines be published?

Discussions began on 25 May 2022 for the revision of the guidelines. The new NHEQF guidelines will be published soon after the discussions are completed.

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