Top Foreign Universities Can Now Set Up Campuses in India, Free to Decide Admissions Policy & Fees

Edited By: Oindrila Mukherjee

Last Updated: January 05, 2023, 22:06 IST

Both Indian and international students can take admission at such FHEI campuses. (Representational image: Reuters/File)

Foreign higher educational institutions that want to open a campus in India should be among the top 500 global ranking universities or it should be “reputed institution in its home jurisdiction”

Indian students will now be able to study in top foreign universities, which will be allowed to set up their campuses across the country. Draft guidelines to this effect were released on Thursday as “internationalisation” of higher education was one of the major policy initiatives under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

The draft guidelines titled (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations, 2023, were released by University Grants Commission (UGC), allowing “greater autonomy” to the universities in terms of deciding their own admission process and fee structure. Both Indian and international students can take admission at such campuses.

What are the regulations?

According to the regulations, foreign higher educational institutions (FHEI) wanting to open a campus in India should be among the top 500 global ranking universities or it should be a “reputed institution in its home jurisdiction”. The quality of the courses taught at the Indian campus must be at par with that of the main campus in the country of origin.

The guidelines are meant to regulate entry and operations of FHEIs in India to conduct undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral, post-doctoral, and other programmes as well as award degrees, diplomas and certificates in all disciplines.

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The regulations, however, do not allow these institutions to teach courses in the online mode. “The programmes offered under these regulations shall not be allowed in online and ‘Open and Distance Learning (ODL)’ mode,” the draft said.

“Opening of these campuses will enable Indian students to obtain foreign qualifications at an affordable cost. Initial approval to these universities will be given for 10 years. Also, they will have to ensure that the foreign faculty appointed to teach on the campuses stay here for a reasonable period. It should not be the case that they come just as visiting faculty for a week or so and go back,” said UGC chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar.

Is there demand for such institutions in India?

Kumar said in 2022, nearly 4.5 lakh Indian students had gone abroad indicating there was a massive demand for FHEIs. There must be many more students wanting to study in these universities, but may not have the same financial means and, hence, opening these campuses will give them an opportunity to study in foreign institutes.

“We already have several top institutions from some countries in Europe, which have shown a keen interest to establish a campus in India. All foreign delegations that come to UGC when we told them about the upcoming policy have also shown their interest to look at this possibility. I expect to see very diverse disciplines to be offered from these institutes,” he said.

The UGC has sought feedback on the draft guidelines till January 18. Universities will have to seek the UGC approval to open a campus in any part of the country. “The final regulations are likely to be put out by the end of January,” the chairperson said.

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