Two leading Australian universities, Deakin University and the University of Wollongong (UOW) are poised to become the first foreign universities to open their campuses in India. The campuses will be set up in Gujarat’s GIFT City.

An official announcement is expected on March 8 during the visit of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to Ahmedabad. Both universities have already applied with letters of intent to establish their campuses in GIFT City.


One of Australia’s top-ranked institutions, Deakin sits at number 266 in the QS World University Rankings. It is also at an impressive place in the Times Higher Education World Rankings, with a position in the 250-300 ranking band. The campus will be operational from 2024 and will take its first batch of postgraduate courses.

The university runs four campuses in Australia- one each in Melbourne and Warrnambool and two in Geelong. It already has many Indian students on board, with 27 per cent of its international student community hailing from the country. Chinese students come close second with 22 per cent of the overall number.


The University of Wollongong ranks number 185 in the QS World University Rankings. It was also the first international university to set up a campus in the UAE. The university also has off-shore campuses in Hong Kong and Malaysia.

The campus will be operational by the year’s end. It will make a small start and offer courses in finance and STEM.

The great news came a year after the announcement of the government permitting top foreign universities to set up campuses in GIFT City. These institutions will have the freedom to offer programmes in multiple schemes, including science, financial management, and FinTech.

Letting foreign varsities enter the country has been a matter of political debate. The first attempt dates back to the 90s, but the process did not move forward. A draft law moved to the Cabinet scrutiny stage in 2005-06. The legislation called Foreign Educational Institutions Bill came in 2010, but it lapsed due to opposition by the left.

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