UGC Regulations Allow Foreign HEIs to Set Up Campuses in India

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has notified the UGC (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations, 2023, enabling foreign higher educational institutions to set up campuses in India.

Pursuant to the National Education Policy, 2020, the Commission released the draft regulations earlier this year, seeking comments from the stakeholders. The regulations have been finalised after making certain changes to the draft.

In order to be eligible to set up campuses in India, the foreign HEI, at the time of application, should have secured the prescribed position within the top 500 in the overall or subject-wise category of global rankings or should possess outstanding expertise in a particular area. In the case of collaborations, each foreign HEI should fulfil the eligibility conditions.

To obtain the Commission’s approval, the eligible foreign HEI has to file an online application and make payment of the applicable fee. The same has to be accompanied by the documents listed under Regulation 4(3) of the 2023 Regulations. The applications will be evaluated by a Standing Committee, based on the recommendations of which, the Commission may, within 60 days, initially grant in-principle approval and issue a Letter of Intent to the foreign HEI. Within a period of 2 years from the date of approval, the campus in India would have to be set up. After the foreign HEI conveys its readiness for the commencement of its academic operations, the Standing Committee would provide its recommendations considering which the Commission would issue approval for the same.

As per the regulations, the education imparted by the foreign HEI in India should be similar to that of its main campus, in aspects including curricula, pedagogy, etc. Further, the qualifications awarded in the Indian campus would be equivalent to the corresponding qualifications awarded by the foreign HEI in its main campus.