UGC Regulations Open Doors for Foreign Universities in India | 11 Nov 2023

Source: IE

Why in News?

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently released regulations that pave the way for foreign universities, ranked among the world's top 500, to establish branch campuses in India.

What are the Key Aspects of these Regulations?

  • Collaborative Initiatives:
    • Two or more foreign universities can collaborate to establish campuses in India.
      • Each participating institution must meet individual eligibility criteria.
      • Each foreign university has the opportunity to set up more than one campus in the country.
  • Faculty Engagement Requirements:
    • International faculty appointed for Indian campuses must commit to staying in the country for a minimum of one semester.
      • This ensures a sustained and meaningful contribution to the academic environment.
  • Application Process Modifications:
    • The time for the standing committee to process applications has been extended from 45 to 60 days.
      • Recommendations of the committee must be presented before the UGC within the revised 60-day timeframe.
  • Autonomy:
    • Foreign universities are permitted to decide their admission process, fee structure, and also repatriate funds to their parent campuses.
  • Restrictions on Operations:
    • Foreign universities are prohibited from opening learning centers, study centers, or franchises acting as representative offices without prior commission approval.
      • Approval is mandatory before initiating any new program on their Indian campuses.
  • Online Learning Constraints:
    • Programs cannot be offered online or in Open and Distance Learning modes under these regulations.
      • Lectures in online mode are allowed but should not exceed 10% of the program requirements.
  • Financial Implications:
    • Foreign universities are exempt from paying annual fees to the UGC, except for a one-time application fee.
      • The establishment of campuses should be funded using the foreign universities' own infrastructure, land, and resources.
  • Scholarships and Fee Concessions:
    • Foreign universities are encouraged to provide full or partial merit-based and need-based scholarships and fee concessions to Indian students.

University Grants Commission (UGC)

  • It came into existence on 28th December, 1953 and became a statutory body by an Act of Parliament in 1956, for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of teaching, examination and research in university education.
    • It also regulates the recognition of fake universities, autonomous colleges, deemed to be universities, and distance education institutions.
  • The head office of the UGC is located in New Delhi.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. Which of the following provisions of the Constitution does India have a bearing on Education? (2012)

  1. Directive Principles of State Policy
  2. Rural and Urban Local Bodies
  3. Fifth Schedule
  4. Sixth Schedule
  5. Seventh Schedule

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3, 4 and 5 only
(c) 1, 2 and 5 only
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Ans: (d)