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Foreign University Collaborations in India: What You Need to Know

Collaborating with Indian Universities: What You Need to KnowMARKET RESEARCH ADVISORY:

The University Grants Commission (UGC) of India, a statutory organisation responsible for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of higher education in India, has just announced its policy to govern foreign university collaborations in India. UGC has made its approval mandatory for all collaborations between foreign and Indian educational institutions.

The new regulations approved by the UGC give existing institutions six months to receive approval for proposed partnerships. The UGC has set together dual criteria to ensure that only reputed academic institutions are allowed to host joint degree or twinning courses.

Foreign universities that figure in the Top 500 list of the Times Higher Education World University Ranking (www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings) or the Shanghai Jiao Tong ranking (www.shanghairanking.com/ARWU2011.html) will be allowed to collaborate with Indian universities.

The Indian varsities interested in foreign collaboration should have received the highest accreditation grade from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) to become eligible for a tie-up with a foreign institution. The degrees will be awarded by the Indian universities for their acceptability in India. UGC has also mandated that institutes failing to abide by the guidelines would be penalized. The proposed move creates a qualitative barrier in the form of accreditation or ranking in such collaborations.
Foreign universities interested in setting up campus in India will have to wait longer as UGC has put this plan on hold. The plan to allow foreign institutions deemed as universities or private universities under State laws has also been shelved.

Snapshot of Foreign University Collaborations in India:

  • As per a study conducted by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), 631 foreign education providers were operating in the country in 2010. This number has increased from 144 in the year 2000 to 631 in 2010.
  • Of these collaborations, the maximum number were from the UK (158), followed by Canada (80) and the US (44).
  • Of these, 440 were functioning from their home campuses,
    • 5 opened their own campuses in India,
    • 60 had programmatic collaboration with local institutions,
    • 49 were operating under twinning arrangements and
    • 77 had arrangements other than twinning or programmatic collaboration.
  • Of the 60 foreign education providers, who have collaboration programs with local institutions, only 25 local institutions were affiliated with Indian universities or approved by regulatory bodies.
  • Only 32 of the 49 foreign institutions operating under twinning arrangements had approval or affiliation.

If you are a top-ranked foreign institution interested in collaborating with local institutions in India, please contact the author, Krishna Kumar, Head of Market Research. Sannam S4 routinely works with the education and skill development national framework to identify opportunities for collaboration, partnership and participation in policy discussions.

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