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UGC guidelines permit foreign universities to set up campuses in India

November 9, 2023

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released guidelines for the establishment and operation of foreign universities in India. These regulations grant complete autonomy to foreign universities in determining admission processes and fee structures.

Developed in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, these guidelines aim to facilitate the entry of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions (FHEIs) into India. They seek to ensure that education provided in these campuses is equivalent to that in the main campus of the institution’s home country.

To set up campuses in India, foreign institutions must secure a place within the top 500 global rankings or demonstrate expertise in specific areas. They are allowed to offer various study programs but are restricted from conducting online or distance learning courses.

Foreign institutions are not required to pay annual fees to the UGC and are responsible for their infrastructure, resources, and faculty recruitment. They can decide their fee structure, provide scholarships, and need to adhere to FEMA regulations for fund movement.

The application process is online, and universities must commit to maintaining educational quality and recognition similar to their home jurisdictions. The UGC will review applications through a Standing Committee and closely monitor the institution’s operations.

The notification ensures that campus activities should align with Indian higher education standards and not contradict the country’s integrity, decency, or public order. The UGC can inspect operations, impose penalties, or withdraw approvals in case of any violations.

Foreign institutions are required to submit annual reports to the UGC, detailing their programs, student enrollment, qualifications awarded, and other relevant information.

“The UGC’s recent notification is a transformative step for higher education in India. It marks the beginning of a new era where Indian students will have direct access to world-class education within our borders. This policy move will undoubtedly enhance India’s position as a global education hub, fostering a more robust exchange of knowledge and research. At DegreeLabs, we are thrilled about the opportunities this creates for students and educators alike, and we are poised to support these initiatives through our platform, which is dedicated to empowering learners and institutions in embracing the global educational landscape.” – Shrenik Parmar, Founder and CEO, DegreeLabs Limited
“Setting up and operations of campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India through the latest UGC regulations is the right step in making India a recognised country that provides quality education. The requirement of being amongst the top 500 in global rankings is already a filter to bring quality into the country. This is an opportunity to look at this as a healthy competition for institutions of repute and certainly an opportunity for cross-learning. Looking at the size of the Indian Higher Education System, by having even 500 foreign institutions, it won’t account to more than 1% of the total institutions in India (Universities, colleges, autonomous institutions combined). Bringing Foreign Higher Educational Institutions (FHEIS) into India, will serve the purpose of realising the grander vision of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. India is a vast country and the people come with different perspectives on higher education, and if foreign institutions are catering to the requirements of the learner and the job market- then it’s a job well done. Looking at the conditions set by UGC, the real question is how many will actually set up campuses in India ? Till then, we need to embrace a diverse set of changes that will bring innovation and growth to the higher education sector”.  Ajitesh Basani: Executive Director-Administration, ABBS ( Acharya Bangalore Business School)

Also read: UGC teacher training centers to become Madan Mohan Malaviya Teachers’ Training Centers: Pradhan

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