Allowing foreign universities to set up their campuses in India will help the country save up to USD 7.5 billion (about Rs. 34,500 crore) foreign exchange annually that students spend on studying abroad, industry body Assocham said.

“It will not only dramatically enhance profile of higher education in India but help it save outflow of about USD 7.5 billion of foreign exchange per annum as large number of Indian students go abroad to receive higher education,” Assocham said.

Assocham President Swati Piramal said, students going abroad, cost the country a foreign exchange outflow of USD 10 billion annually and foreign universities campuses in India could prevent at least three-fourth of students from leaving the country for higher education.

On March 15, the Union Cabinet approved a Foreign Educational Institution (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010, to allow foreign education providers set up campuses in India. The Cabinet clearance has paved way for its introduction in the Parliament.

The chamber said over five lakh students choose to go overseas every year to obtain higher education which include professional courses in engineering, medical and management.

Foreign universities in India would also prevent brain drain as large number of Indian students studying abroad opt to work overseas rather than returning home, Piramal said.

Assocham said several foreign universities have plans to enter India especially at places like New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Chandigarh, Pune and Mumbai.