In a first-of-its-kind initiative in India, the VIT University has introduced a new system for its students this year wherein they would be able to shift from one branch to another during their course of study.
VIT chancellor G Viswanathan said that the Indian higher education system was too rigid, whereas the Western model allowed total flexibility in academics. “A student may have jointed a particular branch of study either due to family’s insistence or peer pressure. The current system does not allow the student to shift to a branch of study they are interested in pursuing,” he said, adding that VIT had put an end to such a rigidity.
If a computer engineering student is interested in joining mechanical engineering, he can now migrate to his favourite branch with much ease under the new system.
Vice-president Sekar Viswanathan said that the US education system, which had been liberal in academics, had inspired the VIT University to introduce this one-of-a-kind system in India.
Recalling his personal experience in academic migration, Sekar Viswanathan added,“I joined M S (Computer Engineering) in a US university, but later decided to shift to M S Computer Science) as the former was more about hardware while the latter was about software.”
Under this new system, the process of migration begins in the second semester when a student has to take two subjects in the branch he wants to migrate to. For this, 60 per cent of his marks in the parent branch and 40 per cent from the two papers in the branch he moves to, would be taken for calculation.
“We are introducing this system on a pilot basis and would be fine tuning it further in due course of time,” Sekar Viswanathan added. Currently, the scheme is open for undergraduates.
A rank list would be prepared based on the marks scored by students and top scorers would be given preference for migration.
“We will allot two per cent additional seats in each programme for these students to join so that it does not affect the existing students,” said Viswanathan.