Following a detailed announcement on international collaborations by Indian universities with foreign institutes, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has now issued an explanation about the measures it has planned in order to “internationalise” higher education in India. These include the proposal to allow foreign universities to set up campuses in India. “A committee has already been formed by the UGC and their deliberations are in the final stage. We have already been approached by a few foreign institutions to open their campuses in India. This will help bring word-class pedagogy to India,” said the UGC, in a statement.
Apart from reducing the financial burden on Indian students associated with travelling abroad for studies, the UGC proposes that having foreign universities set up campuses in India will have an impact on the outflow of foreign exchange. To facilitate Indian universities that wish to set up campuses abroad, the UGC has taken recommendations from a committee chaired by Dr K Radhakrishnan, who is also the Chairman of the IIT Council.
The UGC statement also mentioned Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), which was a part of the Union Budget announced in 2022-23. GIFT proposes to allow foreign universities to offer postgraduate programmes and executive programmes in Financial Services and Technology through their campuses in India. However, the UGC has said that it will not be regulating GIFT and will only allow Indian universities’ permissions and provisions to collaborate with these foreign universities.
In addition to its recent announcement on the international collaboration regulations for Indian universities, the UGC has said that it has reached out to “eligible” foreign universities for possible MoUs with Indian institutions. “We have informed our Indian Ambassadors/Heads of Indian Missions abroad and Foreign Ambassadors/Heads of Foreign Missions in India about these new regulations, requesting them to pursue with the universities in their respective countries for collaborating with Indian universities,” said the commission.
Another important announcement was with regards to the PhD stipulations in India for foreign students. As of now, Indian institutions can admit foreign students into their PhD programmes only if vacancies are left after admitting Indian students. In a move to free up the space for foreign students, the UGC has stipulated two international PhD students that can be taken under each faculty member in addition to their allotted limit for PhD guidance. These will be supernumerary PhD positions. These regulations will be announced in detail soon, added the statement.
Many of these measures are being announced to diversify the market of foreign students visiting India for studies. The UGC says that two-thirds of the foreign students studying in India come from five countries only and that there is a need to reverse this.
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