Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022
Study Abroad

Why An Ex-IAS Officer’s Daughter Was Denied Lecturer Job Despite Foreign Degree

The case brings to light the significance of checking the ranking of global universities before seeking admission

Are foreign degrees enough to get jobs?
Are foreign degrees enough to get jobs? Pixabay

An ex-IAS officer learnt the hard way that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. A foreign degree from a recognised university might look appealing but its validity can still come under scrutiny in India.

Hence, due diligence, prior to admission, is a must. His case is a learning lesson for thousands of students who blindly choose courses and colleges in foreign countries.  

The senior bureaucrat’s daughter did her post-graduation (MA) and also her doctorate from a UK college but the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) has refused to grant equivalence to her master’s degree calling it invalid, making it impossible for her to take up a job as a lecturer in India. This is because the university that she chose to do her MA is ranked a far low – between 601 and 800 -- in World University Rankings 2021 by Times Higher Education.

The bureaucrat has been running from pillar to post for relief but to no avail to date. His daughter, after completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from the College of Arts in Delhi, moved to London (UK) for further studies hoping that her foreign qualification would give her a competitive edge in India. 
In the Indian education system, after 10+2, students pursue undergraduate courses for three years and then masters for another two years. The UK also follows a similar education system.

Unlike other undergraduate courses, the BFA is a four-year programme in India. “The UK university gave her a one-year exemption in her master’s as she had spent four years in her undergraduate programme in India. So, she completed her MA in one year instead of two. After that, she did her PhD from another UK-based university,” the hassled father said. 

Last year, she came to India and applied for the position of a lecturer in one of the universities. Since MA is a compulsory educational qualification for the post, the university asked her to get an equivalent certificate from the AIU -- the only authorised body in India to give equivalence of a foreign degree.

“The AIU refused to grant equivalence to her degree because they recognise only a two-year MA course whereas my daughter has a one-year master’s degree,” the bureaucrat said and added, “I tried to convince them that instead of 10+2+3+2, my daughter has done 10+2+4+1. After 10+2, she has done a four-year UG course and a one year PG course instead of a three-year UG and a two-year PG from a recognised UK university, but still, they didn’t listen to me.” 

The AIU, however, said that talks are ongoing between the two countries to sort out the issue of one-year courses. “Currently, talks are going on between the UK and India to sort out the issue regarding grant of equivalence to the one year master's degree. However, at present, AIU is giving equivalence to the one year master's degree of UK for the top 100 universities in the World Rankings,” said Pankaj Mittal, Secretary-General, Association of Indian Universities.