31 Australian Universities qualify to set up higher education campuses in India as new guidelines notified

India’s University Grants Commission on Thursday notified the draft guidelines for establishing campuses of foreign higher educational institutions in the country in line with the NEP-2020 and invited suggestions and feedback from the public on the same.

In line with the recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020, the Guidelines on Internationalization of Higher Education in 2021, which included provisions like setting up an Office for International Affairs and Alumni Connect Cell in the Universities, have been notified, the UGC said in a release.

However, the programs offered under these regulations will not be allowed in online mode.

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NEP 2020 has envisioned that “top universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India.”

The foreign educational institution should be within the top 500 of overall / subject-wise global rankings, as decided by the Commission from time to time, in its home jurisdiction, it said.

As per Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2023 Australia has 31 universities in the top 500 globally.

However, some of Australian 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.

“A legislative framework facilitating such entry will be put in place, and such universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India.”

A regulatory framework allowing the entry of higher-ranked foreign Universities will provide an international dimension to higher education, enable Indian students to obtain foreign qualifications at an affordable cost, and make India an attractive global study destination, the UGC said.

The guidelines, called, “University Grants Commission (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations, 2023,” aim to facilitate the entry of foreign higher educational institutions into India, it said.

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“These regulations shall regulate the entry and operations of Foreign Universities/Institutions in India to conduct undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral, post-doctoral, and other programs and award degrees, diplomas, and certificates in all disciplines,” the UGC said.

No Foreign Higher Educational Institutions (FHEIs) will be allowed to set up campuses in the country without the approval of the UGC, it said.

The foreign institute has to ensure that the quality of education imparted by it in its Indian campus is at par with that of the main campus in the country of origin, the release said.

The qualifications awarded to the students in the Indian campus shall be recognized and
treated as equivalent to the corresponding qualifications awarded by the FHEIs in the main campus located in the country of origin, the UGC said.

The University Grants Commission’s final draft will be presented to the Indian parliament for its approval before becoming law.

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