Concept of Transferrable College Credits

Isha is a bright student in first year B.Sc. at the Dehradun University. Her father is in a bank and gets transferred to Mumbai. Isha wants to relocate with her family to Mumbai and to transfer to the Mumbai University, but its not possible. She must stay at Dehradun to complete her bachelor’s education.

Deepak completed his second year B.Com. from Kolkata many years ago. Due to personal circumstances, Deepak was not able to complete his bachelor’s degree and had to start working in Benguluru. Now a few years later his financial situation is stable, and he wants to complete his education. He needs to go back to Kolkata University to complete his remaining studies.

Srinivas from Bengaluru was planning to travel to USA for his college studies in 2020. He is anxious about losing an entire year because travel to the US is jeopardized due to Corona crisis. And next year, the competition shall be even tougher because one more batch shall be vying for the same seats.

The first two examples above highlight the disconnect and non-standardization in our Indian higher education system. Universities award their own degrees and only recognize completed degrees of other universities. Even the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT’s) that recruit students through the Joint Entrance Exam don’t permit any transfers after the students have enrolled. Probably the maximum a student can aspire for is a branch change within the same institute. This lack of flexibility and standardization creates several problems.

1.    A student must reapply or waste a year to get admitted to a better ranked college.

2.    Courses taught in different colleges are completely different and disconnected. It is difficult to compare colleges and universities on a common scale.

3.    If for any reason a student must stop studies mid-way, they need to enroll again with the original university to complete their degree.

The U.S. University system provides an interesting contrast. U.S. undergraduate studies (bachelor’s degree in India) are for a period of four years. Students are required to complete certain number of credits every year. Most importantly once a student earns credits from an accredited University, these are recognized by other universities and colleges across the US. Almost 33% of US students change their university at least once during these four years. The transferrable college credits provide students with the flexibility to: a) move to a higher ranked university, b) continue studies after a break and c) pursue a portion of their studies at community colleges that are substantially cheaper.

Srinivas from the third example above, locates an online platform Scholarly where he can take college courses and earn US college credits from the comfort and safety of his home. Courses are offered by accredited colleges and taught by their full-time faculty members. The credits earned are transferable across US Universities and are backed by a full money-back guarantee. Srinivas continues his studies from home with the knowledge and confidence that he will still complete his college in time and not end up with a gap year.

It is difficult to imagine this level of flexibility and standardization in the Indian higher education system; however, as noted above, there would be several advantages to students if such credit transfers (or incomplete degrees) were permitted between Universities.

About the Author: 

Vivek Bhandari is the Chief Executive and Co-founder of Scholarly.co. He is an engineer from IIT Delhi and an MBA from IIM Kolkata. Vivek has worked extensively in financial services, real estate and mortgages space in USA, Europe, and India.

Scholarly helps ambitious international students locate the right universities and courses to pursue their education. We provide college credit courses and research papers to students that want to learn more and differentiate themselves. We help students develop and present their best version to their dream university. Our recommendations are based on the student’s field of interest, academic performance, financial resources and career plans. We provide test preparation classes from the best teachers to help improve scores and thus the prospects for admission. We also assist students with their visa and loan applications to reduce the anxiety associated with international education.

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