Universities have to work in such a way as to maximize the probability of such success, especially through the undergraduate degree programme, which is the flagship of any higher education system. In practice, however, this has not been the case. A major reason is that very little attention has been given in the past to this question, and therefore to the substance and quality of university education.
Practical experience mandatory for graduation
To respond to the concerns expressed by potential employers, the new curriculum has made practical experience a compulsory graduation requirement. In an actual working environment all students would have to complete a summer internship.
In addition, students will have to choose an additional real-world life skill, e.g., entrepreneurship and business development, civic engagement and network building, or participation in sports and competitions, and register for corresponding extracurricular activities in business incubation centres (BICs), student clubs, green clubs, sports, or university magazines. Although the practical work will be evaluated and included in the students’ record, it will not have letter grades or formal credit requirements.
In other words, the goal is to equip students not only with the latest knowledge in their chosen specialization fields but also with critical life skills , i.e., effective writing and communication, introduction to quantitative analysis.
This framework applies to all undergraduate degrees, including the four-year Bachelor ‘s degree (BS), the degrees in any of the professions (MBBS, B.E., LLB, and the like), and the two-year Associate Degree (AD). For the different types of degrees, some details may vary but the structure will be the same.
Possible for students to switch between degree programmes
As designed, the new undergraduate programmes will make it possible for students to switch between degree programmes. For example, an AD holders may apply for admission to a BS programme and receive a transfer of credits from their AD to the BS programme.
Similarly, a student admitted to the BS programme may exit just with an AD after fulfilling the credit requirements for the shorter degree. Further, a student admitted to a professional degree programme may apply for transfer to a general degree programme, or vice versa, provided they meet the admissions criteria of the admitting institution.
This will also determine how many of the earned course credits and completed practical experience hours can be transferred.
The quality of undergraduate education cannot be improved solely by revamping the curriculum. To improve quality, reforms are needed in at least the two closely associated areas, namely effective teaching and meaningful quality assurance.