How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course

MHRD accepts Justice Reddy Committee Recommendations on open, distance education programmes

How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course

New Delhi: The central government has accepted the Justice Reddy Committee recommendations regarding the Distance Education Programmes being run in the country by various universities. Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) constituted a three members Committee after the Supreme Court directed it to constitute a three members Committee to examine the issues related to distance education in the country and also to suggest a road map for strengthening and setting up of oversight and regulatory mechanism in the relevant field of higher education and allied issues.

The court has ordered to constitute the committee comprising of eminent persons who have held high positions in the field of education, investigation, administration or law at national level.

Now, the Ministry has notified following instructions to all the stakeholders based on the recommendations of the Justice Reddy Committee on Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Courses:

1. The list of approved courses offered under ODL mode, institution – wise every year is available on UGC website at www.ugc.ac.in/deb.

2. No course, other than the one that finds place in the list referred to above, would be recognized and a candidate who studies unrecognized courses cannot claim any benefit.

3. Under no circumstances, retrospective or ex-post facto recognition to any course through ODL mode shall be granted by UGC.

4. Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) are required to comply with all the provisions of the UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017 and its amendments. If any deviation by the HEI is noticed, the same would entail not only withdrawal of permission/ recognition for such ODL courses but also for other courses offered by the institutions, on regular and conventional mode.

5. The UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017 are applicable to all HEIs as given at Clause (3) of sub-regulation (1) of Part – I of UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017. It is further clarified that the private universities created under the State enactments shall be under obligation to strictly follow the requirements, stipulated by the UGC, issued from time to time including those under the UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017.

[“source=ndtv]

How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course

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How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course

MHRD accepts Justice Reddy Committee Recommendations on open, distance education programmes

New Delhi: 

The central government has accepted the Justice Reddy Committee recommendations regarding the Distance Education Programmes being run in the country by various universities. Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) constituted a three members Committee after the Supreme Court directed it to constitute a three members Committee to examine the issues related to distance education in the country and also to suggest a road map for strengthening and setting up of oversight and regulatory mechanism in the relevant field of higher education and allied issues.

The court has ordered to constitute the committee comprising of eminent persons who have held high positions in the field of education, investigation, administration or law at national level.

Now, the Ministry has notified following instructions to all the stakeholders based on the recommendations of the Justice Reddy Committee on Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Courses:

1. The list of approved courses offered under ODL mode, institution – wise every year is available on UGC website at www.ugc.ac.in/deb.

2. No course, other than the one that finds place in the list referred to above, would be recognized and a candidate who studies unrecognized courses cannot claim any benefit.

3. Under no circumstances, retrospective or ex-post facto recognition to any course through ODL mode shall be granted by UGC.

4. Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) are required to comply with all the provisions of the UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017 and its amendments. If any deviation by the HEI is noticed, the same would entail not only withdrawal of permission/ recognition for such ODL courses but also for other courses offered by the institutions, on regular and conventional mode.

5. The UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017 are applicable to all HEIs as given at Clause (3) of sub-regulation (1) of Part – I of UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017. It is further clarified that the private universities created under the State enactments shall be under obligation to strictly follow the requirements, stipulated by the UGC, issued from time to time including those under the UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017.

[“source=forbes]

Is Uber a Taxi Company or Not? The EU’s Top Court Will Decide

Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg

Uber Technologies Inc. is set to reach the end of the road in a legal battle over a question that’s reached the European Union’s top court — is the world’s most valuable startup a taxi company or not?

Uber has argued that it’s a technology platform connecting passengers with independent drivers, not a transportation company subject to the same rules as taxi services. The decision is being closely watched by the technology industry because it could set a precedent for how firms in the burgeoning gig economy are regulated across the 28-nation bloc.

“The judgment will either promote the digital single market or lead to more market fragmentation for online innovators,” said Jakob Kucharczyk, of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which speaks for companies like Uber, Amazon.com Inc., Google and Facebook Inc. “The court should make a clear distinction between the online intermediation and the underlying service it facilitates.”

The case centers around UberPop, an inexpensive ride-hailing service in several European cities that allowed drivers without a taxi license to use their own cars to pick up passengers. Legal challenges have forced Uber to shutter its UberPop services in most major European countries in favor of UberX, which requires drivers to get a license.

A loss for Uber would mean countries in the EU will have to classify Uber as a transportation service. While Uber adheres to many taxi laws in countries where it operates, the case could lead to new regulations and fees.

“Any ruling will not change things in most EU countries where we already operate under transportation law,” Uber said in a statement. “However, millions of Europeans are still prevented from using apps like ours. As our new CEO has said, it is appropriate to regulate services such as Uber. We want to partner with cities to ensure everyone can get a reliable ride at the tap of a button.”

Gig Economy

The question of whether Uber is a transport service has long vexed regulators and lawmakers across Europe. Uber has faced roadblocks, real and regulatory, in the region, amid complaints brought by taxi drivers who say the company tries to unfairly avoid regulations that bind established competitors.

Start ups argue that their apps offer flexible hours to workers. Regulators, governments and unions allege that companies are profiting on the backs of people without benefits such as overtime pay or vacation time.

Without the pressure from regulators, companies in the gig economy will force rivals to employ similarly aggressive tactics, said Andrew Taylor, who earlier this year was commissioned by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May to come up with recommendations to regulate the new business types.

“There’s a danger of a race to the bottom,” Taylor said. “Major American companies are treating national norms, culture, regulators and tax systems in a cavalier way.”

Status Quo

Mark Graham, professor at the Oxford Internet Institute, said the scrutiny represents a shift against companies that have avoided regulations facing more traditional businesses in the markets they are trying to disrupt by classifying themselves as technology platforms.

Uber isn’t the only business model being questioned by policymakers. In Paris, regulators are clamping down on Airbnb, whose home-rental service has drawn complaints from hotels that are subject to a different batch of rules. Deliveroo, the food-delivery service, is also facing scrutiny over its treatment of workers in the U.K. and elsewhere.

The EU court’s decisions in this and a pending case may bring clarity for Uber’s continuing battles in national courts. London has become a lighting rod for all of the company’s problems. The car-service provider is fighting regulators and drivers in court as it tries to protect its hold on its busiest market outside of the US.

London’s transport regulator banned Uber in September, citing safety concerns, and an appeal will be heard as soon as April. Two drivers successfully sued the company over vacation and overtime in a suit that would force Uber to radically change the way it treats its drivers.

The case is: C-434/15, Asociacion Profesional Elite Taxi.

— With assistance by Jeremy Hodges

[“Source-bloomberg”]

A teacher defaulted on $55,000 in student debt—loan rehabilitation offered hope, but now he owes $130,000

Student Loan debt

In 2014, Scott Nailor, a high school English teacher from Scarborough, Maine, went more than 270 days without making a payment on his student loans and so ended up in default. Nailor couldn’t keep up with his loan payments while balancing other kinds of debt and providing for his family so, in addition to defaulting, he and his wife filed for bankruptcy.

Nailor had struggled to keep up with his debt since 2000, when he graduated from college owing $35,000. When he stopped making payments over a decade later, his balance had swelled to $55,000, thanks to continually accruing interest.

After he defaulted, Nailor decided that rehabilitating his loans was the best way to get back on track. Federal student loans in default are eligible for rehabilitation, a process that restores loans to good standing after nine monthly payments to a collection agency contracted by the Department of Education.

Student loan rehabilitation programs are one way for borrowers to move forward with repayment after defaulting on federal student loans. But many borrowers don’t fully understand the risks, experts say. Since rehabilitation can add a significant amount of money to your balance, the drawbacks can outweigh the benefits and even put borrowers at risk of defaulting again.

Scott Nailor in his classroom. 

Scott Nailor in his classroom.

Though Nailor successfully completed rehabilitation later in 2014 and has continued to make regular payments, he now owes $130,000 because of the interest and fees for his specific combination of Federal Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loans.

The debt feels like a problem he’ll never be able to solve. “While I’m able to keep my credit from the sewer, there’s no way to pay it off,” Nailor tells CNBC Make It.

What happens if you default on a student loan

Today, more than 44.5 million people collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, according to the Federal Reserve. While the majority of debtors owe between $25,000 and $50,000, about 600,000 people owe more than $200,000.

In 2015, over 10 percent of borrowers in a loan repayment program defaulted within three years, according to recent data from the Department of Education. By 2023, nearly 40 percent of borrowers may default, according to the Brookings Institution. That’s thanks to “the low earnings of dropout and for-profit students, who have high rates of default even on relatively small debts,” Brookings reports. The fact that tuition has gone up while wages haven’t contributes, too.

Defaulting on a student loan damages your credit score, which can affect your ability to secure a credit card, get other loans and buy a house or car. Borrowers in default cannot take out more student loans or pick a repayment plan. The government, through the Department of Labor or the Treasury Offset Program, can also garnish wages, tax refunds and federal benefits to pay off the loan.

Nailor files paperwork every year to stay on a repayment plan that keeps monthly payments manageable and less than what he used to pay. He says he now pays about $530 a month, which does not cover the interest on his loans.

 

[“source=forbes]

Seeing the world differently: a Drexel study abroad column

A junior’s summer abroad at the London College of Fashion pushed her to reconsider her post-graduate options despite a daunting battle with culture shock.

As soon as Abigail Mosse commenced the two-month program in fashion design, she realized London — the destination she always dreamed of — wasn’t what she had always imagined, although she soon learned her way.

“It took a little bit to gain my footing. In the beginning I felt really out of place — I didn’t know the rules and it was just really weird,” she said. “As time went on, I grew to learn that I am more adaptable than I thought.”

From the beginning, Mosse welcomed changes. She even decided on the footwear design track the school offered, since it isn’t  an option at Drexel University. The three classes she took totaled 12 credits and gave her the opportunity to create her very own shoe.

Photograph courtesy of Abigail Mosse

However, she was soon overwhelmed by the difference in British and American culture.

“I didn’t realize how much of a culture shock it would be,” she said, noting how even small things like simple lingo and grocery shopping differ greatly from what she is used to in the States.

She admitted she often relied on other Drexel students in the program, and in the beginning, even had thoughts of going back home.

“I felt like I had to cling onto my friends and I was just terrified of being lost in this city that I didn’t know how to get around in,” she said. “But as time went on, I got a lot more comfortable.”

Once she mastered the city’s public transportation system, she said it really began to grow on her. She even started exploring places on her own.

“It was a big lesson in how to be independent,” she said.

In addition to visiting London’s top sites like Hyde Park, Tate Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Harry Potter Experience and The National Gallery, she ventured outside of London into Brighton. This quaint beach town turned out to be one of the highlights of her experience abroad.

She also had the chance to go to Paris — an excursion that was included in the initial program fee — and decided to take a mini trip with her friends to Amsterdam as well.

Before her London experience, Mosse, originally from a small town near Salem, Massachusetts, had never been out of the country. But the more she stepped out of her comfort zone, the more poised she became.

“It definitely made me more confident,” she said. “I feel much more assertive now.”

After a few weeks, she even started to prefer many elements of British culture, like British chocolate and London’s tube system, although she said she did miss certain parts of American culture like larger portion sizes and iced water — something she never even thought about before. Looking back at the experience, she said that both countries have benefits and drawbacks.

“There’s some things I prefer over there and there’s some things I prefer here in the States,” she said.

One of her favorite aspects of British culture was the focus on sustainability throughout the fashion industry. She said this would be helpful as she pursues a career in fashion, and noted how her exposure to students from other American universities has also changed her personal design process. She adopted many of the product design students’ practices, like doing more preliminary sketching and taking more comprehensive notes.

While Mosse is still deciding the exact job she would like within the realm of fashion, for now, she is seriously considering moving to London after graduation.

“It’s a city I can live in for an extended period of time,” she said. “It’s some place I could sustain myself and be comfortable living in.”

While she is surprised how this bumpy journey ended, she recommends that other students attempt to stretch themselves like she did, and to take advantage of the study abroad office while they can.

“It’s so hard to travel after you graduate but they set it all up for you and it’s so much easier to get that experience before you graduate.”

She hopes that every student can have a similar experience and offered one last piece of advice:

“Just do it and let it change you. Don’t be resistant to it; be open to it,” she said. “At some points it’s going to be really hard. At some points it was hard for me, but I’m so grateful for the changes it has generated in me.”

[“source=TimeOFIndia”]

Marine veteran alum found a home at CSU

Percy Walker

For as long as he can remember, Percy Walker has been working to better himself.

Raised by his grandmother in New Jersey, he was the first male in his family to graduate from high school. With no money for college, he decided that joining the Marines was his path to success.

“My mom couldn’t take care of herself, let alone my sister and I, but my grandmother kept me grounded,” he said. “When it came to high school, no one spoke about college so, to me, the military was my No. 1 option to better my circumstances. I enlisted at 17, spent a year in the delayed entry program, graduated and left for boot camp.”

That was 18 years ago, and much has changed in Walker’s life. Now a sergeant major, he has served across the country and around the world, including two deployments in Iraq and another in Afghanistan. He is married and has four children, ages 15, 5, 3 and 1.

He earned an online bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2014 from Purdue University Global, but he had always longed to learn more about computers and information systems. His search for an online master’s program led him to Colorado State University online.

“Wanted to be part of the CSU family”

“With me moving every three years, that limited my choices, so I narrowed it to three schools,” he said. “CSU’s program just stood out to me. The No. 1 thing was the name – I wanted to be part of the CSU family.”

His program in computer information systems required being part of several group projects. He was stationed in San Diego, so online meetings with fellow students were via Skype. That’s how he got to know Hillary Noble, who was pursuing the same degree while working in web development and design for CSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

“I first met Percy because we were assigned to a group project by our professor,” Noble said. “We met over Skype and were able to complete many group projects remotely as we had many classes together. We both have young children and similar work schedules, so Skype and email made our countless group projects manageable.”

Finding help – and friends – from 1,100 miles away

Between parenting, work and online classes, the challenges were substantial. Walker’s wife, Jamie, is a flight attendant, so he was often on his own with the children, and his chosen degree field was more of a passion than something he had spent years studying.

“There were so many times I wished I had stayed in my lane academically, so it was a real struggle,” he said. “I had always loved computers since I was very young, but getting that degree was very, very challenging.”

Walker, 37, said CSU’s Adult Learner and Veteran Services office provided invaluable help in navigating the process – “Without them I would have been lost,” he said – and professors were very accommodating of his schedule. At one point, during the middle of a semester, the Marines chose him for an anti-terrorism course, and his already full plate overflowed.

Faculty, staff go the extra mile

He credited professor Charles Butler, who has been on CSU’s business faculty for 35 years, with helping him stay the course.

“I remember Percy because you could tell he was a bright guy who was having some struggles,” Butler said. “It’s a really difficult balance being a student while in the military, but I’ve always felt that we owe a certain degree of responsibility to help our military personnel, and I was happy to help Percy.”

Percy WalkerParty time

A big moment for Walker came in February 2017 when he had a free day between military assignments to visit campus and attend classes. It was the first time he had sat in a physical classroom since high school.

And when he graduated the following May, he brought his wife and family to Fort Collins. Noble, the friend he had never met but knew so well, threw him a graduation party.

“The way Hillary, her family and friends adopted me was truly amazing,” Walker said. “They were as proud of me as my own family. I’ll never forget that.

“When I look back, CSU was supportive of me in every way. I can’t see me having gone anyplace else. I definitely chose right.”

[“source=forbes]

Student loan debt isn’t just a millennial problem

How to deal with college debt

As most now know, skyrocketing student debt can be particularly devastating for young adults.

But it’s not just millennials who are delaying life’s major milestones because of their loan burdens, according to a new report by the Association of Young Americans, or AYA, and AARP, an association representing the interests of Americans over age 50.

Debt from student loans is also standing in the way for Generation X and baby boomers, the report said.

“The trillion dollar student loan crisis is having a tangible impact on all Americans across all generations,” said AYA founder Ben Brown.

“Student loan debt has been a barrier in making key life decisions and planning for the future,” Brown said. AYA and AARP polled nearly 5,000 adults, including millennials, Gen Xers and boomers, between July and August.

Here’s a look at some of the long-term consequences:

Saving for retirement
Four in 10 respondents said student loan debt stopped them from saving for retirement, including 41 percent of millennials, 38 percent of Gen Xers and 31 percent of boomers.

Buying a home
About 1 in 3, or 32 percent, said college debt prevented or delayed them from buying a home, including 36 percent of millennials, 26 percent of Gen Xers and 32 percent of boomers.

Helping a family member
One-quarter of those polled said student loans stood in their way when it came to financially helping a family member, including 23 percent of millennials, 29 percent of Gen Xers and 26 percent of boomers.

Having health care
Nearly 1 in 5, or 16 percent, said their debt burden hindered them from getting the health care they need, including 17 percent of millennials, 16 percent of Gen Xers and 9 percent of boomers.

Overall student debt reached a record $1.5 trillion this year, according to the Federal Reserve. Seven in 10 seniors graduate with debt, owing about $29,650 per borrower, according to the most recent data from the Institute for College Access & Success.

To ease some of the burden, Brown recommends sending in a little more than the minimum payment each month toward principal of the loan — by even $10 or $20 — to pay off your loan faster and spend less in interest.

“The sooner you can repay your student loans, the less you have to pay,” he said.

[“source=forbes]

Online education’s expansion continues in higher ed with a focus on tech skills

  • Online learning continues to expand in higher ed with the addition of several online master’s degrees and a new for-profit college that offers a hybrid of vocational training and liberal arts curriculum online.
  • Inside Higher Ed reported the nonprofit learning provider edX is offering nine master’s degrees through five U.S. universities — the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Texas at Austin, Indiana University, Arizona State University and the University of California, San Diego. The programs include cybersecurity, data science, analytics, computer science and marketing, and they cost from around $10,000 to $22,000. Most offer stackable certificates, helping students who change their educational trajectory.
  • Former Harvard University Dean of Social Science Stephen Kosslyn, meanwhile, will open Foundry College in January. The for-profit, two-year program targets adult learners who want to upskill, and it includes training in soft skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. Students will pay about $1,000 per course, though the college is waiving tuition for its first cohort.

Dive Insight:

Online colleges courses and degree programs have been criticized for high attrition rates and lack of attention to students and their performance, especially those who need the most support. Yet there continues to be a steady stream of new of initiatives online, from for-profit tech programs to law degrees.

One reason for the continued expansion is that a proliferation of third-party providers and open-source code makes them relatively easy for institutions to start, and they can be used to address demand for knowledge in a rapidly changing job market, Nina Huntemann, director of academics and research at edX, told EdScoop. For students, they tend to cost less and offer more flexible schedules than in-class programs. They are especially well-suited to graduate degree programs.

Despite the collapse of the for-profit sector, which included several large online offerings, enrollment in online programs has been on the rise for more than a decade. From fall 2015 to fall 2016, the number of distance education students taking at least one course increased by 5.6% to 6.3 million, according to a 2018 report from the Babson Survey Research Group. About half of that group is taking only online classes.

Private for-profit University of Phoenix-Arizona, private nonprofit Western Governors University and private for-profit (now a nonprofit) Grand Canyon University had the highest enrollment of students taking at least one online class in 2016, according to the survey. The University of Maryland University College, in the No. 7 spot overall, ranked first among public colleges.

For-profits have dominated online learning, but traditional universities are catching up. In 2017, Purdue University acquired for-profit Kaplan University, which will support the nonprofit’s online Purdue Global program. And in August, the University of Pennsylvania announced plans to put its popular master’s in computer and information technology online, the first all-online master’s degree in the Ivy League. EdX’s expansion shows how other major universities are responding to the trend, providing the information and instruction but working with third-party technology providers to tailor the curriculum to online learning.

[“source=forbes]