upGrad becomes India’s first edtech to enable online blended degree programs – outlays ₹150 crores for the launch

Delhi: upGrad, India’s largest online higher education company, is entering into the Bachelor’s market for the first time with the renowned Jamia Hamdard University. upGrad will be offering online-offline blended BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) and BCA (Bachelor of Computer Application) degrees to school pass-outs. The subsequent Master’s for these programs, MBA and MCA has been launched as well. A government-funded university, Jamia Hamdard (JH) is amongst the top 25 universities in India as per MHRD’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) released last week and is a recipient of MHRD’s letter of intent for ‘Institution of Eminence’ (IoE) status.

upGrad, which is now India’s only edtech major to offer online degrees, with offline basecamps and live classes, also announced its partnership with O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), for two Master’s programs; a 1-year LL.M. in Corporate & Financial Law and a 2-year MBA in Digital Finance and Banking. JGU is India’s No.1 Private University as per the QS World University Ranking 2021 and has been awarded the IoE status by MHRD.

Announcing the launch, Ronnie Screwvala, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder, upGrad said “The ongoing global crisis calls for evolution on a recurring basis, especially amid the online education space which seems to be the only way forward, owing to its robustness and accessibility. At upGrad, we bear testimony to constantly evolving with the changing paradigm, and to developing better and better learning solutions. Our degree portfolio will enable learners to continue with their academia, without having to think about the overall crisis that has taken a sharp toll on the offline education system.”

The announcement came, within weeks of FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s advocacy of online education, in a press conference attended by Prof (Dr.) Seyed Ehtesham Hasnain, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard University; Prof (Dr.) C Raj Kumar, Founding Vice-Chancellor, OP Jindal Global University & Founding Dean, Jindal Global Law School; Prof S Sadagopan, Director, IIIT-B, and the three Co-founders of upGrad. To strengthen its foothold in the higher education market which is estimated to witness 41 million enrollments by 2022, upGrad has earmarked an extensive budget of INR 150 Cr for this new venture.

Speaking further on this Mayank Kumar, Co-founder & MD and Phalgun Kompalli, Co-founder, upGrad added, “At upGrad, we are undertaking a 3-pronged approach to solve the macroeconomic disruption for both learners as well as academic institutions. By bringing in degree programs, upGrad will enable fresh graduates and working professionals to achieve a full-fledged degree while being within the safe environment of their homes. For college students, upGrad is offering paid programs and free certification courses which will allow them to utilise the additional time on hand productively, as only the top of the field will be hired over the next couple of months. For offline colleges and universities, we have provided complete access to the upGrad LIVE platform, LMS (Learning Management System) so they can seamlessly migrate to online at zero cost. 50+ institutes have empanelled with us for the same.”

upGrad has been chosen by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), an MHRD undertaking, to make future-forward topics like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning accessible to all. The company’s programs are accredited by NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation). Additionally, upGrad’s PG Diploma in Data Science became India’s first PG Diploma validated and recommended by NASSCOM FutureSkills. By constantly evolving its program offerings, upGrad strives to enable universities to go online, thereby making online education mainstream.

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