Online degree courses have gained a lot of prominence in the recent years. The participants can study through the digital mode of internet. This format is popular because it offers a lot of flexibility and convenience to the students. This is due to the ability to study from anyplace and at a fraction of cost. It also helps a student in earning a coveted degree without having to visit a campus during the period of study.
The Government Stand on Validity of Online Degree Courses
Today many accredited colleges and universities offer online degrees courses all over the world. In India too, the government has taken cognizance of the popularity of this mode of education. It has therefore allowed 15% of the Indian universities to offer them to the students. This will help the students and working professionals to study from anywhere according to their schedule. However, the government has mandated that only non-technical education should be imparted through this format. That means that degrees in fields like engineering and medicine cannot be taken up online.
Not all the universities will be allowed to offer such courses. Only those universities which are accredited with the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and rated A+ will be allowed to offer such courses. Other colleges or universities looking forward to offering online courses will be given a period of two years to achieve a NAAC ranking of A+.
The General Opinion on Online Degree Courses
While there is no doubt that online degrees courses can offer access to education to a vast majority of students who cannot travel to universities and colleges due to paucity of time and money. They offer a cheaper alternative to regular format of education and allow people to work and study at the same time.
However, there is some concern regarding the quality of the education imparted through these programs. Many people believe that it will compromise on the objectives of education. But, the government’s plan of allowing only the A+ rated and NAAC accredited universities to offer this format of education will keep a check on the quality of these programs.
It will definitely help the country in improving its low gross enrolment ratio (GER) in the field of higher education. It will do so by providing villages and remote areas with an access to college education, otherwise hard to achieve by conventional methods of imparting education.