According to UGC Chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar, African and Gulf nations, Thailand, and Vietnam are among the potential destinations for Indian universities to establish their offshore campuses. In a month, the regulations for the same will be announced.
In an interview with PTI, Kumar stated that a number of countries are stepping forward to offer infrastructure to Indian universities looking to establish campuses abroad, and the University Grants Commission (UGC) will assist the institutions in selecting the countries where they can do so.
“We have in India huge university ecosystem. There are outstanding universities, both in central government, state government funded and private universities. We want to encourage these varsities to set up their campuses abroad. Some countries where they are coming forward to provide the infrastructure to our universities to set up their campus.”
“We have countries where we have large Indian diaspora who want our campuses to come and provide education,” he said.
Kumar said, “several African countries,” when asked about the nations that have showed interest in welcoming Indian universities.
“There is huge potential for setting up campuses in African countries. Thailand, Vietnam and few Gulf countries… there is immense interest and the opportunities are immense too. It is just that we have not had any enabling regulations so far,” he added.
The Middle-East and South Asian countries have been requesting to establish their campuses at a number of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). IIT Madras is looking into opportunities in Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Tanzania, while IIT Delhi is considering opening a campus in the United Arab Emirates. Moreover, IIT campuses are planned for Egypt, Thailand, Malaysia, and the UK.
“IITs are known as institutions of national importance, they function under IIT Council. It has its own rules and regulations under which they can set up their own campuses. Already some IITs are working on that,” he said.
Last month, the UGC stated that foreign universities would be able to establish campuses in India for the first time and revealed draft regulations that would allow these universities to manage their admissions policies, fee schedule, and fee repatriation.
According to Kumar, the final norms, which will take into account the views from stakeholders, would also be released in a month.
Because of the potential benefits to our students, this UGC regulation to allow campuses of foreign educational institutions in India is widely discussed in our country. A finalisation of the rules is now taking place. “We also had discussions with various foreign universities delegations which have visited UGC, we have put draft for feedback and have received very good feedback. In another month or so, we will be able to release the final regulations,” he said.
When the ministries of external affairs and home affairs issued no objection certificates, the UGC amended its regulations in 2021 to permit Institutes of Eminence to establish campuses abroad.