India Takes Steps To Allow Foreign Universities To Open India Campuses

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Taking measures to make India a global study destination, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a step toward allowing leading foreign universities like Oxford, Yale, and Stanford to set up campuses and award degrees in India.

Regulator of the UGC unveiled a draft legislation on 5th January 2023 for public feedback that seeks to facilitate the entry and operation of overseas institutions in the country for the first time. The local campus can decide on admission criteria for domestic and foreign students, fee structure, and scholarship, according to the draft. It is believed that the institutions will have the autonomy to recruit faculty and staff. 

It is evident that the government is pushing to overhaul India’s heavily-regulated education sector, and this opportunity will enable Indian students to obtain foreign qualifications at a relatively more affordable rate, and will also help international institutions to tap into the country’s youth. 

This initiative will help the country in terms of boosting its education sector to become more competitive, with the introduction of foreign universities, and will also help in closing the growing gap between college curricula and market demand. It’s currently ranked 101 among 133 nations in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index of 2022 which measures a nation’s ability to grow, attract and retain talent.

After receiving input from all interested parties, the final norms will most likely be announced by the end of January. It is also worth noting that even though 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.

Some foreign universities have already set up partnerships with Indian institutions, allowing students to partially study in India and complete their degrees on the main campus abroad. The current move will encourage these overseas institutions to set up campuses without local partners. The UGC’s final draft will be presented to the parliament for its approval before becoming law.

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