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UGC approves establishment of off-shore private university campuses

March 14, 2024

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has allowed private universities to establish offshore campuses and has drafted guidelines for the same.

This is the first time that private universities in the country are authorised to open offshore campuses in other states. Following a meeting that was held by the commission recently, the approvals have been given with a caveat.  

Among the criteria that private varsities are expected to meet they must establish the ability to ensure minimum staff recruitments, infrastructure provision, and financial requirements set by the commission. Courses offered, standard of infrastructure and faculty numbers must match that of the main campus.

Varsities must have a record of completion of a minimum of five years of establishment and operation and accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). However, varsities need not have an A or a B grade in NAAC rankings for the same.

Universities must submit land lease documents showing land procurements for their offshore campuses, with a minimum lease period of 30 years. Approvals must be taken from the standing committee of UGC for a NoC before establishment.

Universities must pay Rs 10 lakh as establishment fees to the UGC following which inspections could be conducted and punitive measures would be initiated against universities in case of irregularities or grievances from students. Action might include closure of the offshore campus and transfer of students to the main campus.

“Improving access to quality educational infrastructure, as envisaged under #NEP2020, is being effectively accomplished through this directive. Private Universities are expected to benefit immensely in terms of improving reach and achieving high growth in student enrolments. 

“On the other hand, students from smaller towns and cities can now pursue education in private universities of their choice much closer to their home thereby reducing the overall cost. Students residing in large states such as UP, MP, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat & Karnataka are expected to benefit the most,” said Rohin Kapoor, Partner, Management Consulting, BDO India. 

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