About 50 foreign universities, including Duke University from the U.S., have evinced interest in setting up campuses in India as the government is all set to introduce a bill to allow entry of such institutions.

These institutions, mostly from the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, have approached the HRD Ministry in the last three months, a senior official said. Duke, a renowned private university in the U.S., offers courses in various streams and research studies.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal has said non-profit making institutions would be allowed to set up campuses in the country.

The Foreign Education Providers Bill is before the Cabinet, which is expected to take it up tomorrow.

“Institutions can make surplus money. But they cannot distribute it among their shareholders. They can spend it for further expansion of the institution,” Mr. Sibal has said.

To take forward the process of engaging their institutions in education sector in India, a number of foreign dignitaries, including British Trade and Investment Minister Mervyn Davies and Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, have visited India.

“There is huge scope for collaboration and partnership between institutions from Britain and Indian universities. More institutions are interested for collaboration with Indian institutions,” Davies told PTI.

Mr. Reed was leading a Washington Trade Mission here to explore the possibility of tying up with India in higher education.

Minister of State for HRD D Purandeswari is scheduled to go to Washington on September 20 on an official visit during which she is expected to meet government functionaries to take forward the process of collaboration in education.

At present, 31 foreign universities are operating in India through collaboration. Besides, 11 foreign institutions are operating under a programme which allows students to go to certain U.S. universities for doing a part of their courses.

While allowing foreign universities, the focus will be to keep out fly-by-night operators from the education sector, Mr. Sibal has said.