B.A. Programme Versus the Liberal Arts

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There is a stigma surrounding the B.A Programme degree offered by the University of Delhi, considered to be less valuable and employable when compared to Liberal Arts. This conception is nothing but the result of the flawed mindsets of the people.

The education system in India has, since its inception, been a work in progress. Universities across India keep changing their undergraduate degree structures every few years to inculcate “holistic development” of their students. However, when it comes to the choices realted to higher education in our country, they have always been rigid, calculated and fragmented. The choice to pursue a Bachelor’s degree by a student has always followed a set bandwagon of continuing along the path of the stream you chose in class 11th. The idea of a student with a medical background during school, pursuing Biology alongside Literature or Political Science at the undergraduate level is considered to be odd and absurd. A sort of prejudice for pursuing a bachelor’s degree in either Science, Commerce or the Arts has been prevalent in the country, and multi-disciplinary degree are considered to be a lost concept, as it they are deemed unconventional.

Students often wonder what to choose
Students often wonder what to choose

However, with the coming up of liberal arts, the multi-disciplinary approach to higher education has gained traction. Liberal Arts courses facilitated by new private universities follow a different system of education, similar to the American system. The liberal approach gives students the opportunity to choose any two subjects, without the constraint of limiting themselves to the three traditional streams of study: Science, Commerce and Arts. On the other hand, courses like B.A Programme already exist, offering us the same liberties and benefits in the University of Delhi (DU). They not as popular as a Liberal Arts degree because of the stigma surrounding a B.A. Programme course, deeming the degree less valuable and not of the same status as a B.A . Honours degree.

The course structures of both tend to be similar, with the major difference being the system of implementation being carried out. Private universities enjoy a little more liberty than Delhi University, which is currently following the Choice Based Credit System at the undergraduate level. Both courses allow the students to pick two discipline subjects to pursue with an addition of two foundation subjects to add on. The other major difference comes out to be that liberal arts gives you the freedom to change your discipline subjects every year (although, to obtain a degree in a particular subject, the specific discipline subject needs to be continued for more than a year), however B.A Programme gives you several combinations of discipline subjects at the time of admission that cannot be changed throughout the course of your bachelor’s degree.

Even though the two courses are extremely similar in nature, liberal arts is still more accepted and respected in our society, despite the fact that B.A Programme has been around for a longer time. There is a stigma surrounding the B.A Programme degree offered by Delhi University. It is considered to be less valuable and less employable when compared to Liberal Arts. This conception is nothing but the result of the mindset of the people. Wiith the growth in popularity of the arts stream, there is a significant rise in the awareness among the public, this growth will hopefully lead to the end of the negative stigma surrounding the coveted B.A (P) course at the undergraduate level.

Bhavya Banerjee

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Image credits: DU Beat

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