The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued draught rules to make it easier for international universities and educational institutions to open campuses in India. These rules provide them autonomy in setting fees and require a 90-day clearance process. After receiving input from all interested parties, the final norms will be announced by the end of the month.Although this is in line with the National Education Policy, 2020, which calls for a legal framework to permit prestigious international universities to operate in India, previous attempts, including those made by the UPA government, ran into opposition, including from the BJP, which was then the opposition, and the Left parties. The draught UGC (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations 2023, which were published after Kumar’s announcement, emphasise that they shall not offer any such “programme of study that jeopardises the national interest of India or the standards of higher education in India,” while attempting to grant significant freedom to foreign education players willing to explore the Indian market.
Speaking of UGC clearance, Kumar stated that initial sanction will be granted for ten years to international institutions establishing campuses in the nation. He continued by saying that the Foreign Exchange Management Act would govern the transfer of money across international borders. According to Kumar, these colleges will be free to design their own admissions procedure and tuition schedule. Foreign institutions would also need to guarantee that the standard of instruction at their campuses in India is on par with that at their main site.
The new regulations state that in order to enrol international students, an institution must achieve a specific level on the National Institute Ranking Framework or National Assessment & Accreditation Council rating.
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