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  • 06 January, 2023

  • 5 Min Read

Foreign Higher Educational Institutes In India: UGC 

Foreign Higher Educational Institutes In India: UGC

  • The proposed UGC (Setting up and Operating of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations 2023 were published by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

About the draft regulation:

  • It aims to permit international universities to establish campuses in India.
  • Determine the admissions procedure, the reasonableness of the cost structure, etc.
  • Must transfer money back to their parent campuses in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999.
  • Foreign higher education institutions' operations must not conflict with India's sovereignty or integrity, State-wide security, amiable interactions with foreign countries, public decency, morality, and Indian higher education standards.
  • The UGC draught regulations for 2023 list the "top 500 international universities," and the UGC will "from time to time" determine the ranking.
  • Only the top 100 universities according to the QS rankings were permitted to set up branch campuses in India under NEP-2020 in order to provide Indian students who wanted to study abroad with a top-notch higher education.
  • Another requirement for opening a branch campus in India is that "the applicant should be a respected institution in its home jurisdiction," according to the proposed regulations for 2023.
  • Fee Structure: According to the proposed regulations for 2023, international higher education institutions may choose a "transparent and reasonable" fee structure.
  • The ability to choose "qualifications, compensation structure, and other terms of service for appointing faculty and staff" has been granted to foreign higher education institutions.
  • Campuses will be subject to anti-ragging and other criminal laws, and the UGC will have the right to inspect them at any time.

Importance of the draft:

  • Including foreign universities will guarantee a variety of curricula, including those in urban design and fashion design.
  • Reduce the loss of foreign reserves. Over 4.5 lakh (four lakh five) Indian students studied abroad in 2022, resulting in an estimated $28–30 billion in the outflow.
  • Around 40 million Indian students who are now enrolled in higher education will have access to an education of international caliber.
  • Foreign universities will have complete discretion to choose the tuition rates and entrance standards for both Indian and international students.
  • Additionally, they won't be required to come fully adhere to reservation laws in hiring and admissions and would have complete freedom in choosing faculty members, whether they come from India or elsewhere.

What drawbacks exist in the proposed rules?

  • It is unclear how the UGC will evaluate the standing of these foreign colleges, which are regarded as reputable in their own countries but do not appear in any world rankings.
  • The courses offered by international colleges will be pricey and out of reach for many students due to the option to choose the fee structure.
  • It won't follow through on the NEP-2020 commitment to meet the needs of socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.
  • For the humanities and social sciences, where alternative interpretations are common, the rules linked to sovereignty, security, and national interest would be troublesome. It could be challenging for the foreign faculty members to strike a balance between state policies, sensibilities, and their academic perspectives.
  • The question of profit repatriation had been a key point of disagreement between the Indian government and overseas branch campuses. In India, the education industry is not profitable. It is a public good.
  • Attracting Top Universities: In the end, it will come down to whether or not top universities will invest in a branch campus in India since they find the Indian market to be so alluring.
  • The top 100 institutions were undoubtedly not overly eager to establish campuses in India.
  • Removal of Equivalence Certificate: It would be challenging to guarantee that the degrees offered by the overseas branch campuses would be recognised by the employers in the home countries of the campuses when equivalence standards were waived.
  • The determination of "need" for a scholarship will be a difficult task even though it is stated that "full or partial need-based scholarships" will be offered by the FHEI (foreign higher education institution) from resources like endowment funds, alumni donations, tuition revenues, and other sources.

Way Forward

  • India has to develop physical infrastructure to support its internationalization of higher education policy. (As an illustration, consider Dubai Knowledge Park's efficient operation.)
  • The regulations shouldn't allow such international educational institutions, whose primary goal is to make money, to flourish.

Source: The Indian Express

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