UGC draft guidelines: For online degrees, institutes can source up to 40% of course content externally


HIGHER EDUCATION institutes offering online degrees can source up to 40 per cent of their course content externally and develop the remaining 60 per cent in-house with the assistance of ed-tech companies, according to draft guidelines drawn up by the University Grants Commission.

But the ed-tech companies, described as technology service providers in the amended draft UGC (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations 2020, shall have no right to advertise the content developed with their help as their own.

The concerned higher education institutes “shall have complete ownership of Intellectual Property Rights” relating to the contents developed in-house, states the draft regulations which have been uploaded by the UGC on its website seeking suggestions and feedback till March 15.

UGC chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar said the guidelines are in tune with the National Education Policy 2020, which proposes that top institutions accredited for running online and distance learning programmes be encouraged to develop high-quality online courses.

According to the guidelines, the option to source content from external sources will not be mandatory on institutions which will have the freedom to have 100 per cent in-house content development as well.

“The option to source content externally has been provided so that students do not have to put in efforts to locate good online programmes to pursue and add to their credit bank. The institutes themselves will do the research and provide options to students,” a senior UGC official said.

Currently, only universities and their constituent colleges that fulfill these criteria are allowed to offer online degrees.



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