You may be aware that the Indian Government is going to set up a so-called Meta university in the country. The Meta University will allow students flexibility in designing their curriculum and pursuing subjects and combinations of their choice. With this the Government hopes to make higher education more liberal and accessible to the masses.
To understand the concept of meta university better, here is an example: After the advent of Meta university plan in the country, a student of astrophysics at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, for instance, will be able to take up a course in comparative literature at Jadavpur University (famous for social subjects) simultaneously. Read this article for detailed info.
On this blog we hailed the idea of Meta University in India; on the premise that 1) it’ll bring Indian universities closer to the true meaning of University (Where universe of knowledge exists under one roof and learners are always exchanging this vast knowledge among each other). 2) It’ll give options to those students who are always eager to learn more.
But, is the concept of Meta University really practical?
Or in other words,
Will students want to study subjects lying on two extremes (a science student, wanting to study history or comparative religion)?
To answer this, let’s have a look at the student response to Dual MBA Programs, many universities in US have been running for a decade now.
As said many universities outside India are allowing students to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree while simultaneously pursuing another credential. For example, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, students can earn degrees such as a Master of Arts in Education, a Juris Doctor and a Master of Science in Environment and Resources while completing an MBA.
The primary aim of providing MBA students an option to pursue another degree is to offer them a chance to enhance their skills and create a more attractive resume (the points we vouched for in our article are the possible reasons too).
But according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek report, these dual degree options are not popular among degree seekers.
But, the College Professors still believe the Dual MBA Programs Valuable despite acknowledging Sluggish Enrollment rate [Supporting Data below]. Many Professors believe they are still valuable in higher education, as they give students additional options and allow schools to strengthen their relationships with professionals in other industries.
Hence, colleges continue to launch new specialized programs, students have many more options when enrolling in graduate school now, than they have two years ago.
According to data from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, while the number of dual degree programs has increased by 54% in the past 10 years, the percentage of MBA degree seekers who opt to enroll in these courses of study has actually decreased. BusinessWeek reports that in the 2005-2006 academic year, about .9% of MBA students chose dual degree programs, compared to .7% in the 2010-2011 school year.
The Meta University concept should not be seen as the Government’s desire to increase the number of students opting for Meta degrees. Just like the Dual MBA degree, the Meta University concept should be seen as the Higher Education System in India’s attempt to deliver quality to the students. And the definition of Quality for Higher Education in any country is to:
1) Offer more options to students who want to study more
2) Offer more options to students who want to study subjects outside their stream
3) Offer more options to students who want to stand out to employers
4) Offer more options to students who want to have additional job security in the future
5) Offer more options to students to Allow a student to write exams, when he he/she feels to.
6) Freedom to study virtually or in more innovative ways.
Hence, Meta university degrees in India are an attempt of Government to deliver quality education at university levels. And just like the Dual MBA degrees in US, we should not be bothered by the adoption rate. In all likelihood, the adoption rate will be small if not sluggish in India as well.