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Regulations for Foreign Universities in India

Context

Foreign universities and educational institutions could soon be allowed to set up campuses in India as per the draft regulations made public by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What has the UGC proposed?
  2. What does the NEP say?

What has the UGC proposed?

  • The draft regulations for foreign higher educational institutions setting up campuses in India have been announced by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
  • These regulations allow top 500 global ranking foreign universities or reputable foreign educational institutions in their home jurisdiction to apply to the UGC to establish a campus in India.
  • The campus will have the autonomy to set its own admission process and criteria, fee structure, and to recruit faculty and staff from India and abroad.
  • However, these institutions are not allowed to offer programs that could compromise the national interests of India or the standards of higher education in the country.
  • They will also be permitted to have cross-border movement of funds.
  • In the past, there have been attempts to bring foreign universities to India, such as the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill introduced by the UPA-II government in 2010, which was not passed due to opposition from various parties including the BJP, Samajwadi Party, and left parties.

What does the NEP say?

  • The National Education Policy (NEP) says that the top 100 universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India through a legislative framework.
  • According to  a former adviser for education in the erstwhile Planning Commission, “the draft regulations don’t follow the text of the NEP, rather uses it as a pretext.”
  • He explains that while the NEP talks about creating a legislative framework, the government is following the regulatory route.
  • Critically, the NEP also proposes attracting the top 100 universities, while the UGC draft permits universities with top 500 global rankings.
  • The objective in promoting India as a global education destination is apparently aimed at saving loss of foreign exchange.
  • Nearly 13 lakh students were studying abroad in 2022 and as per the RBI, ₹5 billion was lost in foreign exchange due to students going abroad in FY 2021-2022.
  • The larger goal of the NEP is to take the gross enrollment ratio (GER) in colleges and universities to 50% by 2035 from the current 27%.
  • But online education and private institutions will not benefit those who have no access to education; it will merely offer more choices to the upper and middle class who have 100% GER.

-Source: The Hindu


February 2023
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