From the very beginning of the next year, four Indian Universities would jointly launch the pilot of online courses that would constitute a ‘virtual university’, funded by the European Union. The project would be called, EQUAL (Enhancing Quality, Access and Governance of Higher Education in India), which is similar to the widely accepted and popular Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
The proposed university would offer a dual learning platform (online as well as face-to-face) for the students who are pursuing their graduation courses in India. This model would also provide credits and certification to the students and allow students to take up courses from other universities as well as other colleges in their regular undergraduate course.
The four universities that are taking part in this one of its kind project are: Jadavpur Universtiy, Kolkata, Ambedkar University, Delhi, University of Hyderabad and Shiv Nadar University in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh.
The four Indian Universities that have signed up for the project is working along with the King’s colleges London and the University of Bologna, Italy. The project majorly focuses on four interdisciplinary areas namely natural resources and sustainable technology, cultural studies, human ecology and critical thinking.
Sugata Hazra, another project co-ordinator of Jadavpur University said, “We urge universities and colleges to adopt this system so that students can have access to the best lectures and courses across India. The aim is to create partnership between Europe and India, and between Indian universities, adapting the ‘Bologna Process’ to the Indian context.” The process in European higher education system means cooperation, which would be based majorly on quality, openness and internalizing higher education rather just being educated and possess a degree.
In Indian platform the project’s aim would be to make education available to students who are from far off places and live in rural areas. Those students who couldn’t have access to universities for education can do the same by joining the project and register for a course offered by the university.