Amidst the hype around the newly introduced four year undergraduate programme, we have been discussing what could be right and what could seriously go wrong. With that wave of discussion as well as confusion, majority of us (except the VC of course) have criticized the FYUP. Here is a flip side of the coin. A few pointers on why the FYUP might not be that bad an idea:
- Practical Knowledge: Foundation Courses covering an array of subjects from Arts, Science, Social Sciences and Commerce backgrounds, will equip students with appropriate communication skills, mathematical ability and other such skills that are required to face real life challenges. Students are also expected to study Application papers, to encourage application-based knowledge. In the final year, students shall be expected to pursue two Research based papers/ Innovation projects, something which does not exist under the current framework for majority of the courses. Hence, the FYUP might encourage the assimilation of knowledge, and not just learning for an upcoming examination.
- The professional ‘tag’: Supporters of the FYUP are selling the idea stating that it is a more professional course and will create employable youngsters. If we stick to social myths, a B.Tech has been the way to go. If you want to earn money, you do not do a B.Sc./B.A but rather a professional course such as B.Tech. Even with general ‘academic’ courses being awarded with a professional tag, it might actually create more employable students.
- Integration of Sports and ECA to the curriculum: Until now, sports and ECA have not been an active part of the curriculum. With the FYUP, students have the option to gain course credit from these activities. Hence, students who often contemplate about leaving passion in these fields due to academics can actually stay on and pursue them and gain credits from the same. Heads up for encouraging extra-curricular activities!
- Better opportunities for higher education: For students wishing to go abroad for their masters, countries such as America have had limited options. The reason being majority of reputed colleges such as the Ivy League institutions require four years of undergraduate study. People who want pursue education at these places, opt to spend a year in other interim courses to bridge the requirement. With the FYUP in place, you would be eligible for applying fresh out of college.
- Multiple degree options: While most people have been debating that the multiple degree option in the FYUP is meant to create disparity, the fact that the course gives a ‘choice’ is one to be appreciated. For example, if my economic condition does not allow me to finish my education and I leave after two years to get job, I have a diploma and have the option of turning it into an honours degree in the future. It’s about choices.
- Digital awareness: Not everyone grows up amidst internet access and the FYUP acknowledges that. Creating foundational courses that work on to giving basic IT understanding to everyone is a positive step. Access to laptops might work in the right direction as well. With such approach the idea is to bring everyone on the same level before the real education in their major begins.
- A step towards an International model: Adopting the credit system leaves room for studying a certain course at your pace. We can also assume that soon like the international system, community work and internships will also contribute to your credit score. If one rather wants to concentrate on training on field, you can work on that. If someone wants to get the fundamentals right, they can work on that bit. Again, it’s about giving the student a choice of how they wish to approach their under graduation.
These are a few things that strike right about Delhi University’s four year programme. By stating these we don’t wish to contemplate that everything about the FYUP is great, but rather stress on the fact that apart from the negative debates, there exists positivity on the subject as well.