Many students opt for foreign universities so as to get an opportunity to go abroad as part of the curriculum. The demand is such that even Indian institutes are tying up with foreign institutes to materialize exchange programmes. Ministry of Human Resources and UGC opening up the gates for foreign university campuses in India.
Sources said that around 50-60 international educational institutions have expressed their interest to set up a campus in India. But the government has not received any proposal from foreign universities for setting up their campuses in India. The information was shared by Minister of State for HRD Satya Pal Singh in response to a written question in Rajya Sabha.
Satya Pal Singh said,“The University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have informed that they have not received any proposal from foreign universities for setting up campuses in India”.
He added,”However, UGC and AICTE have issued guidelines on collaboration between Indian and foreign universities with a view to increasing synergy between Indian and foreign academic institutions, to offer students additional choices and to improve curriculum and the delivery of knowledge and educational content”.
In March 2010 the government in India approved a plan to allow foreign universities to set up campuses in partnership with existing schools. The plan is to offer diverse options for high-quality education by joining forces with established universities and research centers around the world.
The UPA government had received Cabinet approval for the Foreign Educational Institution (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010. This bill was to look at the entry and India operations of institutions. This nod had also come after stiff opposition for four years. However, it could not be passed due to lack of consensus.
Later, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had also prepared and notified rules that would allow certain foreign universities (not-for-profit ones) to set up campuses in India. But there were differing views between UGC and the law ministry because they had sought specific laws to be enacted for the same.
However, sources said that the current government wants to build a proper structure of guidelines that will guide foreign players on the entry, exit, and capital requirements to set up shop in India.
As per one of the official, “There have been cases wherein some foreign institutes have a complex structure of having one year of education in India while the second and third year could be in some other location and the degree awarded will be from abroad. These are grey areas that we are looking to resolve so that the student’s future career prospects are not impacted”.
Although foreign universities are yet to open independent campuses in India because of regulatory hurdles, some global higher education brands are opening research centers to capture a portion of the growing market of executive education and other research partnership opportunities.