UGC announces regulations for establishment and operation of campuses by foreign universities in India

"The regulations aim to facilitate the entry of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions (FHEIs) into India, in line with the NEP recommendations and to provide an international dimension to higher education in India

Updated - November 09, 2023 12:01 am IST

Published - November 08, 2023 08:49 pm IST - New Delhi

Foreign institutions need not pay any annual fees to the UGC other than the one-time application fees. They shall set up their campuses using their own infrastructure, land, physical resources and human resources. File

Foreign institutions need not pay any annual fees to the UGC other than the one-time application fees. They shall set up their campuses using their own infrastructure, land, physical resources and human resources. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Wednesday notified the regulations for foreign universities to set up and operate their campuses in India.

"The regulations aim to facilitate the entry of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions (FHEIs) into India, in line with the NEP recommendations and to provide an international dimension to higher education in India.

"These regulations aim to ensure that the education imparted in the (India) campus is at par with that of the main campus in the country of origin and that its operations comply with the applicable laws and regulations," UGC Chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar said.

According to the regulations, "Foreign institutions intending to establish campuses in India should have secured a position within the top 500 in the overall category of global rankings, as decided by the commission from time to time, or should have secured a position within the top 500 in the subject-wise category of global rankings and should possess outstanding expertise in a particular area, as decided by the commission from time to time." In case an FHEI desires to receive or utilise foreign contributions, it will have to obtain registration or prior permission under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 and comply with legal requirement under the FCRA, the UGC stated.

In their Indian campuses, foreign universities will be allowed to offer study programmes leading to the award of certificates, diplomas, degrees, research and other programmes at the undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral levels.

"Foreign universities cannot open learning centres, study centres, or franchises that may act as representative offices of the parent entity to undertake promotional activities for their programmes in their home jurisdiction or any other jurisdiction outside India. They are required to seek prior approval from the commission before starting any new programme in their campus in India," the regulations said.

"No programmes can be offered in online or in Open and Distance Learning modes under these regulations. However, lectures in online mode not exceeding 10 per cent of the programme requirements are allowed," it added.

"Two or more than two universities can collaborate to set up campuses in India, provided each institution meets the eligibility criteria individually. Each foreign university can set up more than one campus in India. However, they shall make a separate application for each proposed campus to the commission," the regulations stated.

Foreign institutions need not pay any annual fees to the UGC other than the one-time application fees. They shall set up their campuses using their own infrastructure, land, physical resources and human resources.

Foreign universities may provide in their Indian campuses full or partial merit-based or need-based scholarships and fee concession to Indian students.

"Foreign Higher Educational Institutions can admit students and collect fees in their campuses in India only after a notification has been issued by the UGC permitting them to commence their campus operations in India under these regulations.

Campuses of foreign universities in India shall have autonomy to recruit faculty and staff as per their recruitment norms, it stated.

Foreign universities setting up campuses in India will be required to seek prior approval from the UGC before starting new courses, the regulations stated.

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