Published on: February 1, 2022




University Grants Commission (UGC) has developed a draft National Higher Educational Qualification Framework (NHEQF), which is part of a set of reforms that the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 envisages.


  • From job readiness to constitutional values, theoretical knowledge to technical skills, higher education institutes across the country will soon be brought under a new framework to assess students on a range of learning outcomes
  • Country needs to move towards developing a nationally accepted and internationally comparable and acceptable qualifications framework to facilitate transparency and comparability of higher education qualifications at all levels
  • Purpose is to bring up/elevate all HEIs to a common level of benchmarking to ensure that all institutions are providing quality education
  • Envisages the award of certificates, diplomas and degrees based on what students completing a particular programme of study are “expected to know, understand and be able to do at the end of their programme of study.”
  • Characterised by six levels based on the complexity of learning outcomes.
  • While Level 5 of the NHEQF represents learning outcomes appropriate to the first year of the undergraduate programme of study, Level 10 represents learning outcomes with greater complexity appropriate to the doctoral-level programmes of study
  • At every level, the students will be assessed based on parameters
  • In line with the structure outlined in the NEP, the draft NHEQF also fixes the number of credits required to clear the different levels of the four-year undergraduate programme, master’s degrees and doctoral degrees.
  • Those looking to exit the undergraduate programme with a certificate will require 40 credits; with a diploma after two years will need 80 credits; degree after three years will have a requirement of 120 credits; degree with honours/research after four years with 160 credits.
  • One credit is equivalent to one hour of teaching (lecture or tutorial) or two hours of practical work/fieldwork per week, it adds.