Foreign Universities May Set Up Campuses in India: UGC’s New Regulation 2023

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The Government of India has given the green flag to foreign universities willing to set up campuses in India. The foundation for higher education internationalisation was laid in NEP 2020, and as a result, the University Grants Commission (UGC) launched a number of initiatives to internationalise India’s higher education system. Among these, in 2021, the UGC released guidelines on creating an Office for International Affairs and an Alumni Connect Cell in universities.

In 2022, UGC (Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Higher Educational Institutions to offer Twinning, Joint Degree and Dual Degree Programmes) Regulations, 2022 came into force with an objective to foster academic collaboration between Indian Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) and foreign HEIs

Every year, around 0.8 million students apply for higher education in foreign universities, and the majority of them are in Anglo-nations like Canada, Australia, the USA, Britain, etc. In 2022, nearly 0.6 million students went to other countries for education.

According to research, 1.8 million Indian students will study abroad by 2025, and with such a large number of brain drain, Indian higher education must be transformed.

Thereby, UGC has presented a draft on Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India Regulations, 2023, in order to give higher education a more global perspective, make it more accessible for Indian students to earn foreign degrees, and promote India as a desirable study abroad country. Here is a summary of the important provisions of the Regulation, 2023.

TOP 500 OF OVERALL OR SUBJECT-WISE GLOBAL RANKINGS

The Regulation 2023 has kept the standard high for the universities setting up in India. It says that no foreign higher education institutions (FHEIs) will be allowed to set up campuses in India without UGC approval. These universities should be in the top 500 of overall or subject-specific global rankings or be well-known institutions in terms of research and academics.

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Universities interested in applying will fill out an online application and submit the required paperwork. Once the application is submitted, a committee will review the university’s credibility, the programme to be offered, the academic infrastructure, etc. Two years will be allotted to them to establish a campus.

INSTITUTES FREE TO DECIDE FEES & ADMISSION

The decision regarding admission and fee is left to the universities, but it will be reasonable and affordable, and there will be full or partial need-based scholarships.

In terms of faculty recruitment, Regulation 2023 allows universities to hire faculty from both India and abroad. In the case of foreign faculty, they need to stay in India for a reasonable period of time.

ANNUAL REPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF ACCOUNTS

Talking about checks and balances, these universities will submit an annual report, giving details of programmes offered, the number of students admitted and passed out, etc., and all cross-border movement of funds and maintenance of foreign currency accounts will be regulated by the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) of 1999.

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