Thursday, March 30, 2023
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Foreign universities can set up campus in India but UGC rules out online classes

The UGC said that those universities among the top 500 in international rankings or have an excellent reputation in the field of research and academics will be eligible to open campus.

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New Delhi: The Modi government has finally set the ball rolling for foreign universities to set up their campuses in India, a policy change that was mentioned in the new National Education Policy.

However, the draft regulations released by University Grants Commission (UGC) Thursday has also put a rider to the provision by stating that courses offered should be taught in a physical mode with no online classes allowed.

The statutory body’s chairman M Jagadesh Kumar informed that institutes will be able to start the process after seeking permission from the UGC and their permit will have to be renewed every nine years.

The institutes also need to be mindful of not doing anything that is against “national interest,” he underlined.

To make the exercise lucrative for foreign universities, the regulations stated that the institutes will be allowed to repatriate their earnings under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) of the RBI.

Top 500 rankers allowed

The UGC is maintaining a tight quality check on the institutes who qualify to set up campuses in the country. According to the regulations, the university should be among the top 500 institutes in international rankings or have an excellent reputation in the field of research and academics.

“Last year, nearly 4.5 lakh Indian students went abroad for studies, this means a huge outflow of capital from India and this also shows that there is a huge interest among Indian students to study in foreign universities. This is why we wanted to bring the institutes to India,” said Kumar, announcing the foreign universities draft regulations Thursday.

The rules were put in the public domain Thursday and the commission has also invited feedback on the same.

The UGC chairman said that some universities from Europe have already shown interest in the venture and that the government is constantly holding talks with other embassies and foreign delegates to explore their interest.

“The institutes interested in applying will have to fill an application form online and submit certain documents. Once the application is received, a committee will examine the application and look at the credibility of the institute. They will be given two years to set up a campus,” said Kumar.

Institutes free to decide fees & admission

Talking about the admission process and fees structure for these institutes, he spelt out that the decision on the admission process and fees structure will be left to the individual institute. “There will be a provision for need-based scholarships in all these universities,” Kumar added.

In terms of faculty recruitment, they will have the freedom to choose faculty from both India and abroad. If there is a foreign faculty, they need to stay in India for a considerable period of time, at least for one or two semesters, the rules stated.

Breaking down the technicalities in which a university can establish its campus here, the rules mentioned that an institute can either establish a campus through the Companies Act, by setting up a company or through the Limited Liability Partner Act which involves having a joint venture with an established institute and then opening a branch in India.

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