According to UGC Chairperson M Jagdish Kumar, Africa, Gulf countries, Thailand, and Vietnam are among the probable locations for Indian institutions to establish their offshore campuses. The regulations for these campuses are ready and will be released in a month.
In an interview with PTI, Kumar stated that a number of nations are stepping forward to offer infrastructure to Indian colleges looking to establish campuses abroad, and the University Grants Commission (UGC) will assist the institutions in choosing the nations where they can do so.
“We have in India a huge university ecosystem. There are outstanding universities, both in the central government and in state government-funded and private universities. We want to encourage these varsities to set up their campuses abroad. Some counties where are coming forward to provide the infrastructure our universities need to set up their campuses.
“We have countries where we have a large Indian diaspora who want our campuses to come and provide education,” he said.
Asked about the countries that have expressed interest in welcoming Indian universities, Kumar said” seven African countries”.
“There is huge potential for setting up campuses in African countries. Thailand, Vietnam, and a 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 nations 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. In addition to the UK, Thailand, Malaysia, and Egypt also have IIT campuses.
“IITs are known as institutions of national importance, they function under the IIT Council. It has its own rules and regulations under which it can set up its own campuses. “Some IITs are already working on that,” he said.
The UGC had last month announced that foreign universities will be able to set up their campuses in India for the first time and unveiled draft norms, under which these varsities can also decide on the admission process, and fee structure, and repatriate their funds back home.
Kumar said the final norms, which will take into account the feedback received from stakeholders, will be announced within a month too.
“This regulation of UGC to bring the campuses of foreign educational institutions in India is widely discussed in our country because of the possible advantages that it can bring to our students. The regulations are being fine-tuned now. We also had discussions with various foreign university delegations that visited UGC, we submitted a draft for feedback and received very good feedback. In another month or so, we will be able to release the final regulations,” he said.
In order to let renowned colleges open campuses abroad, the UGC updated its regulations in 2021 after receiving a certificate of no objection from the ministries of external affairs and home affairs.
(Source: Times of India)