In a significant move, the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced on Wednesday the final regulations facilitating the establishment of campuses by foreign universities in India. Under these regulations, foreign universities gain complete autonomy in determining their admission processes and fee structures, while the UGC retains oversight powers to monitor their operations.
Enhancing Opportunities for Indian Students
The entry of foreign universities is anticipated to broaden opportunities for Indian students and enrich the landscape of higher education in the country. The move aligns with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, envisioning the facilitation of “top universities in the world” to operate in India.
Key Guidelines and Eligibility Criteria
The UGC (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations, 2023, outline key guidelines for foreign universities. These include a mandatory UGC approval, a position within the top 500 global rankings, and adherence to eligibility criteria for collaborative efforts.
Autonomy in Decision-Making and Recruitment
Foreign Higher Educational Institutions (FHEIs) are granted autonomy in determining fee structures, offering concessions to Indian citizens, and providing scholarships based on evaluations. They also have the freedom to recruit faculty and staff from India and abroad, following their own norms.
Financial Operations and Quality Assurance
The guidelines specify adherence to the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, for financial transactions. FHEIs must submit mandatory information on the UGC portal and ensure the quality of education aligns with their main campus. The UGC will constitute a standing committee to evaluate applications and make recommendations, with an extended review period of 60 days.
Close Monitoring and Compliance
Upon approval, FHEIs have two years to establish campuses. The regulations empower the UGC to inspect campuses, infrastructure, academic programs, and overall quality. Violations may result in penalties, suspension, or withdrawal of approval. FHEIs must submit annual reports detailing programs, student admissions, and qualifications awarded.
UGC Chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar emphasized that these regulations aim to ensure that education standards in these campuses match those of the parent institutions in their country of origin, and that their operations comply with applicable laws and regulations.