Dreamt of studying at Yale or Stanford but didn’t have the money to move the United States? Your dream may soon come true as the University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced draft norms that will permit foreign universities and educational institutions to set up campuses in India.
On Thursday, 5 January, UGC chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar announced draft norms for establishing campuses of foreign higher educational institutions in the country in line with the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 and invited suggestions and feedback from the public on the same.
The move to “internationalise” education is a step to overhaul the country’s heavily-regulated education sector to enable Indian students to obtain foreign qualifications at an affordable cost and make India an attractive global study destination. The move will also help overseas institutions to tap the nation’s young population.
Interestingly, while the Narendra Modi-led government has taken this step to open up India’s education sector, such attempts of allowing foreign institutes to set up campuses in India has been made in the past. The first was in 1995 when a Bill was introduced but could not go forward. In 2005-2006, too, the draft law could only go up to the Cabinet stage.
So, which universities will be allowed to set up their campuses in India? What is the eligibility criteria? What will be the fee structure? What programmes will be offered? How have academics and students reacted?
Here is everything you need to know.
Which institutes can set up their campuses in India?
While unveiling the draft norms on Thursday, UGC chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar said the foreign universities and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) will need a nod from the UGC to set up their campuses in India.
He explained that universities who want to set up their campuses in India should be ranked within the top 500 of overall or subject-wise global rankings. Universities, who have secured subject-wise ranking, will be allowed to offer same subjects in their Indian campuses.
This means universities such as America’s Yale, Stanford, Harvard and British institutions like University of Cambridge, Oxford King’s College could all set up campuses in India, permitting Indian students to get top-notch education without having to travel.
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The UGC chairperson made it clear that institutes wishing to set up shop in India will have to offer full-time programmes in physical mode and not online or distance learning.
What will be the admission process for these institutes?
The institutes that come to India will have the autonomy to evolve their admission process and criteria to admit domestic and foreign students, as per the draft norms.
“There will be a provision for need-based scholarships in all these universities,” Kumar explained.
The draft regulation does not mention anything about reservations norms for these foreign universities — which means that they will be free to decide if they wish to provide reservation for certain students in their Indian campuses.
What about the fees and faculty?
Just as these Foreign Higher Education Institutions will decide its admission process, so will they decide on their fee structure. The UGC, however, has advised keeping the fees “reasonable and transparent.”
As per the details released, the Indian government will not provide scholarships to students taking admission to such institutes.
On the matter of faculty, these institutes will have the autonomy to recruit faculty and staff from India and abroad as per its recruitment norms. It may decide the qualifications, salary structure, and other conditions of service for appointing faculty and staff.
However, they shall ensure that the qualifications of the faculty appointed shall be at par with the main campus of the country of origin. It shall ensure that the foreign faculty appointed to teach at the Indian campus shall stay at the campus in India for a reasonable period.
What courses can they provide?
The foreign institutes coming to India will be allowed to offer undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral, post-doctoral,…
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