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Higher Education: Fixing the Fragmented System

October 30th, 2020 by

The foremost objective of NEP 2020‘s Higher Education (HE) policies is to fix the fragmentation in higher educational ecosystem. In order to achieve this objective, the policy makers propose to transform all HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) into large multidisciplinary universities, colleges and HEI clusters / Knowledge Hubs. Each of these multidisciplinary formations will grow to have 3,000 or more students over a period of time.

These Large Higher Education Institutes will:

  • increase resource efficiency – both material and human
  • build vibrant communities of scholars and peers
  • break down harmful silos
  • develop active research communities across disciplines including cross-disciplinary research
  • enable students to become well-rounded across disciplines including artistic, creative, and analytic subjects as well as sports

The “Restructuring and Consolidation” policy-initiatives require every HEI to become one of the following three:

  1. Research-intensive University
  2. Teaching-intensive University
  3. Autonomous degree-granting College (AC)

HEI classification

Autonomous degree-granting College (AC) will grant undergraduate degrees, and is primarily focused on undergraduate teaching.

HEIs will have the autonomy and freedom to move gradually from one category to another.

The new set of HE policies give enhanced focus and attention to Research and community engagement, along with high quality teaching and multidisciplinary learning. Every HEI will support other HEIs in their development, contribute to various fields of practice including faculty training for the higher education system, and also render support to school education.


Following are a few policy decisions towards Institutional Consolidation in Higher Education:

  • Single-stream HEIs & ‘affiliated colleges’ will be phased out over time.
  • The present complex nomenclature of HEIs such as ‘deemed to be university’, ‘affiliating university’, ‘affiliating technical university’, ‘unitary university’ will be replaced by ‘university’.
  • Every existing college would develop into either an Autonomous degree-granting College (AC), or a constituent college of a multidisciplinary University.
  • Institutions will have the option to run Open Distance Learning (ODL) and online programs in order to enhance their offerings, improve access, increase GER (Gross Enrolment Ratio), and provide opportunities for lifelong learning.



Every Educational System tends to become fragmented over a period of time. In order to fix this issue, periodical intervention and correction is required. The System in question must also be given a revised sense of purpose, unity and direction during this intervention. NEP 2020’s policies on Higher Education will revamp India’s Higher Education System.


Note: We recommend that you check our previous blogs on NEP 2020. You may use the following links:

Introduction & Overview of School Education Policies
Student-centric Policies in School Education
Teacher-centric Policies in School Education
Policies on School Infrastructure
Policies on Learning Environment in Schools
NEP 2020: Introduction to Higher Education