UGC launches master’s degree in vocational education

The Bachelors in Vocational Education degree will be required to be eligible to enrol for the Master's in Vocational education

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved a Master's in Vocational Education for students after completing their B.Voc degree. The B.Voc will be required to be eligible for the M.Voc. The UGC had introduced B.Voc in higher education as a part of the National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF) in 2012. The vocational education scheme was formulated on the guidelines spelt out in the NVEQF and the stipulations of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

K V Kale, Director of Board of College and University Development at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University stated that introducing Master's degree in Vocational Education would increase the level of certification at the top level. He told a daily, "After seeking Bachelor's degree, choice for doing Master's degree becomes obvious for candidates. The UGC specifying M.Voc would increase the level of certification in vocational education and create more expertise.”

S V Birajdar, Principal of S B Science College told a daily about the popularity of these vocational courses and the urgent need for an M.Voc. He added, "These are job-oriented courses, which are preferred by students who cannot pursue professional courses such as engineering due to many constraints.”

Ravi Bhardwaj, educational lawyer believes that the UGC decision will boost the vocational education sector and stated, "Students can now achieve a Master's degree in vocational sector to have further specialization in their chosen trade. This is a kind of a specialization hierarchy, which is very common in our education system, like MD after MBBS, MBA after BBA. This step also recognizes the need and importance of vocational education in transforming an economy.”

The B.Voc courses offer students the option to opt for three-year courses with multiple exit provisions — a diploma at the end of first year and an advanced diploma after two years and Bachelor's degree after completing the course. UGC directives have granted institutes offering B.Voc courses a financial allocation of INR 1.85 crore for a period of three years. The grant includes a one-time start-up assistance of INR 50 lakh for setting up of laboratories/workshops facilities, procurement of teaching and learning materials, machinery/equipment and renovation. They will also receive INR 75 lakh for the appointment of one associate professor and two assistant professors among other expenses.

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