The foreign education providers bill having been put on hold, the University Grants Commission has finalized regulations through which foreign institutions will be able to come to India in collaboration, partnership or twin arrangements with local educational institutions.
The regulations, to be notified shortly, mandate that only those institutes that are among the top 500 in the world as per Times Higher Education’s world university ranking or the academic ranking of the World Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University will be allowed in. Foreign educational institutions would have to ensure that courses offered by them are in conformity with the standards set by Indian regulatory bodies.
Indian partners of foreign educational institutions are mandated to have accreditation by National Assessment and Accreditation Council with A or its equivalent grade. However, Indian educational institutions run by central, state government or Union Territory administration would be free from mandatory accreditation. Indian collaborators would require at least five years experience of offering education at postgraduate level. Again, government educational institutions have been exempted. In case, Indian educational institution is affiliated to a university it would need its approval before collaborating with foreign educational institution.
Indian and foreign institutions are required to make public details of courses of study on their website before admission process begins. Also, the new entity borne out of collaboration is barred from teaching anything that is against national security and territorial integrity. Institutions would also have to abide by regulations of Indian government and in case where foreign exchange is involved they would have to follow regulations of Reserve Bank of India.
UGC’s approval would be for five years, but it can review the progress and then extend or withdraw approval or even impose new conditions. In case regulations are violated, the Commission can notify that courses being taught in a particular institution are not as per regulations. UGC can also recommend to central government that deemed university status of these institutions be withdrawn.