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UGC Chief: Indian Universities To Soon Set Up Offshore Campuses in Africa, Gulf nations, Thailand, and Vietnam
In an interview, UGC Chairman said several nations are coming forward to deliver infrastructure to Indian universities to set up campuses abroad. UGC will handhold the institutions in recognizing the countries where they can put up their offshore campuses.

by Pragti Sharma / 18 Mar 2023 13:04 PM IST / 0 Comment(s) / 365

Image Courtesy : www.facebook.com/mamidalajagadesh.kumar



According to UGC chairman M Jagadesh Kumar African and Gulf nations, Thailand and Vietnam are among the leading destinations for Indian universities to set up their offshore campuses, restrictions for which are ready and will be announced in a month.



In an interview, UGC Chairman said several nations are coming forward to deliver infrastructure to Indian universities to set up campuses abroad. UGC will handhold the institutions in recognizing the countries where they can put up their offshore campuses.



The “internationalisation of education” strategy summarized in the new National Education Policy (NEP 2020) includes three significant reforms- foreign universities to put up campuses in India, dual degree and joint degree programmes at Indian universities in cooperation with foreign universities, and Indian varsities to set up campuses abroad and twinning.



Kumar said we have in India a massive university ecosystem. There are outstanding universities- in the central government, state government-aided, and private varsities. We want to promote these universities to set up their campuses abroad. Some nations are coming forward to deliver the infrastructure to our universities to put up their campus.



He added that we have nations where we have an enormous Indian diaspora who want our campuses to come and deliver education.



Asked about the nations which have expressed interest in accommodating Indian varsities, Kumar said several African countries. There is a possibility of setting up campuses in African countries. Thailand, Vietnam, and a few Gulf countries- there is immense interest, and the opportunities are big too. It is just that we have not had any enabling rules so far.



Many Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have received requests from Middle East and South Asian nations to set up university campuses. While the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) is considering setting up a campus in UAE, The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) is exploring opportunities in Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. IIT campuses are also in channels in Malaysia, Egypt, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.



He said IITs are known as institutions of national importance (NTI), and they operate under IIT Council. It has its own rules and regulations under which it can put up its university campuses. Already some IIT Institutes are working on that.



The Centre had last year placed up a committee led by IIT Council standing committee chairperson K Radhakrishnan. The panel has suggested creating a generic system like IIT, National Institutes of Technology (NIT), or Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), under which institutes can be established as the current IIT Act does not offer for constructing an IIT outside the country.



The panel had advised that offshore campuses of IITs may be named India International Institute of Technology, and faculty members from the prestigious technology institutions here may be sent on delegation abroad.



Last month, UGC announced that foreign universities will be able to set up their campuses in India for the very first time and unveiled draft norms, under which these universities can also decide on the admission procedure and fee structure and repatriate their funds back home.



The final norms, which will consider the feedback obtained from stakeholders will be announced within a month too. The principle of UGC to bring the campuses of foreign educational institutions in India is widely discussed in India because of the possible benefits for the students. The rules are being adjusted and renewed now. UGC also had discussions with different foreign university delegations who have visited UGC. They put in a draft for feedback and have received excellent feedback. In another month or so, they will introduce the final regulations.



The University Grants Commission had 2021 amended its regulations, permitting Institutions of Eminence to put up campuses abroad after receiving no objection certificates from the Ministries of External Affairs and Home Affairs.


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