UGC and AICTE have warned universities and graduate programs against partnering with ed-tech companies to deliver distance learning and online courses, citing regulations prohibiting franchise agreements.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued a warning to colleges and universities around the country. The UGC has ordered institutions to avoid collaborating with ed-tech businesses on open and distance learning and online courses. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has also requested compliance from several technical institutes.
Online education is growing, and EdTech businesses are collaborating with universities abroad to offer degrees. Many of these international businesses lack UGC accreditation and recognition, putting students taking these courses at risk.
The UGC and AICTE both warn against ‘franchise arrangements’ between universities and edtech companies. Education regulators recommend that students and parents check the accreditation status of programs on their respective websites.
In addition, there are no franchise agreements for ODLs or online programs, and the HEIs are solely responsible for the programs. Rajnish Jain, the committee secretary, stated in an official order that many colleges and institutions approved by the UGC offer diploma and diploma programs online and through open distance learning.
A franchise arrangement is prohibited for HEIs to offer online courses or ODL programs under any circumstances, and they are solely responsible for these programs. “UGC recently became aware that some companies are advertising in newspapers, social media, and television that they offer online degree and certificate programmes through UGC-accredited universities and institutions,” said commission secretary Rajnish Jain.
These institutions can only offer these programs under franchise agreements, following the ODL and/or Online course rules. The university does not approve courses they offer that are not part of their curriculum.
Online and open learning courses are advertised by some EdTech companies as being affiliated with UGC-accredited institutions.
- University Grants Commission has advised such universities to discontinue degree programs offered in partnership with edtech firms.
- Newspapers and social media are allegedly advertising degree programs by some edtech companies.
- Education officials in India have warned against edtech sites and commercial subscriptions.
Some EdTech companies advertise their online degree and diploma programs and partnerships with universities/institutions in newspapers and social media.
Universities and colleges.
According to UGC, franchise arrangements like this are not allowed, and they will be punished in accordance with law, rule, and regulation. EdTech companies and higher education institutions should expect enforcement to occur.
Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) will be recognized/declared as qualified to offer Open and Distance Learning and Online programs under the UGC (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020 and its amendments.
In accordance with the regulations, franchise arrangements are not permitted, and each institution must manage programs independently.
You can browse the UGC-recognized HEIs and programs on deb.ugc.ac.in.
For updates on the recognition or eligibility of these programs, students are encouraged to check the UGC-DEB website before applying for admission.
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