The long-awaited draft norms for letting foreign universities set up campuses in India were announced by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on 5 January 2023. The final draft is expected to be released soon after feedback from all stakeholders. It is a crucial development for the country as students will get an opportunity to obtain affordable foreign qualifications without traveling and living abroad. Top global universities will enter the Indian education landscape with a legislative framework and guidelines for regulatory, governance, and content norms. Here are some noteworthy facts regarding the UGC guidelines for foreign universities establishing their campuses in India.

  • A foreign university looking to set up a campus in India should be within the top 500 in subject/overall global rankings. However, a foreign educational institution of repute in its home jurisdiction can also apply.
  • The foreign HEIs will be given as much autonomy as possible in setting up the admission process, deciding the criteria to admit domestic and international students, recruiting faculty and staff from India and overseas, and determining fees for students. While there will be no caps on fees, they should be reasonable and transparent.
  • The courses and programmes offered by these HEIs cannot be in open, online, or distance learning modes.
  • Permission to operate Indian campuses will be initially for 10 years. Universities can apply to the UGC for renewal, but they must do it a minimum of one year before the completion of the approved period.
  • The foreign HEIs will not be allowed to close the campus or discontinue any course or programme without prior UGC approval. They will have to provide an alternative to the affected students in the case of disruption or discontinuation. The objective of the guideline is to protect the interests of Indian students.
  • They will have a proper mechanism to address student grievances. Additionally, students can appeal to the UGC if the university fails to resolve their grievances.
  • HEIs will establish their Indian campuses under the limited liability partnership act, companies’ act, by opening a branch office, or through joint ventures. They can repatriate funds generated in India under the relevant regulations.

The UGC guidelines have been hailed by academicians and students as they ensure top-notch education for Indian students. The best thing is that enough has been done to safeguard the interests of the local students. The reforms will also improve local institutions as they want to compete with international HEIs.

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

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