UK PG degree not recognised in India

A UK postgraduate degree, for which thousands of Indian students aspire for every year, is not recognised in India as a PG degree and candidates holding such degrees may be rejected by the varsities for higher studies like Ph.D.

The stand taken by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and the British Council that guides Indian students on UK education too seem to corroborate this view. Recently, an Indian student, Himanshu Vyas, applied for a Ph.D programme in an Indian university after completing his M.Sc. in International Business from Nottingham University Business School, University of Nottingham.

However, his application was rejected on the ground that the postgraduate degree he pursued was of one year duration. Realising the problem, Himanshu wrote to the British Council and he got a reply that recognition of overseas degrees in India is guided by Government of India regulations and AIU was the right authority. Moreover, it made it clear that the British Council does not offer equivalence certificates.

When he checked the AIU website, it clearly indicated that Master Degree programmes which are less than two years in duration of foreign universities will not be accorded equivalence and AIU does not issue Equivalent Certificates in such cases. Interestingly, AIU is the only recognised body in India for granting academic equivalence of degrees and diplomas not only within the country but also to other similar bodies in foreign countries.

The website also indicates that the AIU has signed Memorandum of Understanding Arab Republic of Egypt, Russian Federation, Australia, Germany and Sri Lanka. As per the provisions of the MoU, the degrees awarded by the accredited universities of these concerned countries, for the full time programmes offered on the campus of the country of origin are accepted for admission to higher courses by Indian universities on reciprocal basis.

After spending lakhs of rupees for the course, Himanshu is now worried that his dad’s money and precious time have gone down the drain.

Ravilochan Singh, Managing Director of Global Reach, a prominent education consultancy, says thousands of students who go to UK are now worried. He says “AIU needs to be presented with facts so that it can change its equivalence system and accords exception to the one year Masters from UK.”

At the same time, he says British Council needs to lobby for recognition of British Masters degrees of one year duration before it begins claiming the British Degrees are globally recognised.

“The least they can do if they fail to do justice to students is to promote their Masters with a clear statutory disclaimer that their degrees are not eligible for further education in India.”