UGC Unveils Historic Regulations
In a landmark move aimed at transforming India into a global education hub, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced regulations permitting foreign higher educational institutions to set up campuses in the country. The UGC, on November 7, 2023, released the comprehensive guidelines titled “University Grants Commission (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations, 2023.”
Significance of the Event:
The UGC’s initiative is a pivotal step toward internationalizing India’s higher education system, aligning with the National Education Policy of 2020. The regulations aim to provide an international dimension to higher education, allowing Indian students to obtain foreign qualifications at an affordable cost while making India an attractive global study destination.
Key Points of the Regulations:
- Eligibility Criteria: Foreign Higher Educational Institutions seeking to establish campuses in India must meet specific criteria, including securing a position within the top five hundred in global rankings or demonstrating outstanding expertise in a particular area.
- Approval Procedure: The regulations outline a thorough approval process, involving the submission of detailed documentation by the foreign institution, including information on location, infrastructure, fee structure, academic programs, faculty, and financial resources.
- In-Principle Approval: The UGC, through a Standing Committee, will evaluate each application based on merit, credibility, and potential to enhance educational opportunities in India. In-principle approval will be granted within sixty days, with a Letter of Intent issued for the establishment of campuses within two years.
- Admission and Fee Structure: The foreign campuses have autonomy in designing admission processes and criteria for both domestic and international students. The fee structure must be transparent and reasonable, with scholarships and tuition fee concessions offered.
- Faculty and Staff Appointment: Foreign institutions have the autonomy to recruit faculty and staff from India and abroad, adhering to their recruitment norms. The qualifications of the faculty must be at par with the main campus in the country of origin.
- General Conditions: The regulations lay down various conditions, including the prohibition of online or distance learning modes, adherence to standards of higher education in India, financial adequacy, and compliance with laws related to foreign contributions.
- Annual Reporting: Foreign Higher Educational Institutions must submit annual reports to the UGC, detailing programs, student admissions, and qualifications awarded. These reports will be made available on their websites.
- Student Safeguards: The regulations ensure that foreign institutions cannot discontinue courses or close campuses without UGC approval. A mechanism for addressing students’ grievances is also mandated.
- Commission’s Power to Visit: The UGC has the authority to visit and examine the operations of the campuses to ensure infrastructure, academic programs, and overall quality.
- Jurisdiction and Dispute Resolution: Courts in India have exclusive jurisdiction in case of any disputes arising from these regulations.
The UGC’s regulations signify a paradigm shift in India’s higher education landscape, fostering global collaboration, enhancing academic quality, and providing students with diverse international learning opportunities.
Prizdale Times will continue to closely monitor developments related to this historic initiative as it unfolds, bringing readers the latest insights into the internationalization of India’s higher education.