What is Bachelor in Liberal Education?

..the opportunity for the student to indulge in a potpourri or types of course leading to something called a Bachelor of Liberal Education in the event of credits not adding up to a specific discipline.

University Grants Commission

What is liberal arts education?

The new National Education Policy of India, released in 2020, has opened the doors for a student-centric education.

For the first time, students would be able to choose their own courses, study through a variety of modes (online, offline, distance), can enter and exit the education system at multiple points, take an exam when ready, and collect credits in the academic bank of credits.

This will enable the students to liberally design a curriculum as per their own interests. It is possible that the student creates a unique subject combination that doesn’t lead to any particular specialization such as technology, design, business management, political science etc. The student may complete courses as varied as animation, kitchen management, chemistry, aviation, world history, accounting, music, public policy, furniture design, and psychology. Such a combination cannot be lead to a traditional degree like a BTech, BDesign, BA, etc.

What is Bachelor in Liberal Education?

A concept note on blended learning released by the UGC states that ‘the opportunity for the student to indulge in a potpourri or types of course leading to something called a Bachelor of Liberal Education in the event of credits not adding up to a specific discipline.

Such a degree has the following characteristics:

  1. It gives the opportunity to the student to choose courses on their own
  2. It puts the responsibility on the student to create an education such that it enables them to fulfill their professional ambitions.
  3. The institutions will become multi-disciplinary in nature to allow students to choose from a variety of subjects
  4. The faculty’s mentorship will be crucial to give the right direction to the students

Which countries have a Bachelor in Liberal Education?

Liberal education at the undergraduate level is commonly found in several universities in the USA and Europe. While most of these universities have a ‘liberal curriculum’ where students can choose their majors, minors, double majors, electives, etc., they tend to provide a professional specialization in at least one field of study.

On the other hand, a Bachelor’s in Liberal Education is completely designed by the student and is unhinged on any specialization. In western universities, such a degree is called the ‘Bachelor in Liberal Studies.’ Some universities like Kentucky, Indiana, Northern Iowa, Purdue Northwest, Mary Washington are offering a BLS degree. This program is less popular than the typical BS (Bachelor in Science) or BA (Bachelor in Arts) programs.

How can you get a Bachelor in Liberal Education in India?

As of May 2021, the concept is in a draft stage and has not been implemented yet by the UGC. So, the current students in higher education cannot opt for a ‘Bachelor in Liberal Education (BLE).’

Still, some new universities, including Rishihood University, are offering a multi-disciplinary and liberal arts environment to its students. In the absence of a BLE, the students get a degree that relates to the majority of their courses, popularly known as the ‘major’. Thus, after going through a multi-disciplinary program like the programs at the School of Creativity at Rishihood, you would receive a ‘Bachelor of Design’ or a ‘Bachelor of Visual Arts’.

We hope that the students entering higher education from 2021 will be eligible to make their own degree and the option of a BLE will be open for them if they choose to do so.

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