The University Grants Commission (UGC) puts in public domain the UGC (Promotion and Maintenance of Standards of Academic Collaborations between Indian and Foreign Educational Institutes) Regulations 2012. As top grade foreign educational institutions have shown little or no interest in setting up campuses in India, the University Grants Commission notified regulations that will allow Indian institutes with grade B accreditation to collaborate with foreign educational institutions.
The provisions of the new regulations are:
a) Indian institutes with grade B accreditation can now also enter into collaboration with foreign institutions which should mandatorily have the highest grade of accreditation in its parent country.
b) At the time for agreement for collaboration, Indian educational institution shall have accreditation by National Assessment and Accreditation Council with a grade not less than B or its equivalent grade.
c) Indian institutes collaborating with foreign institutes should have experience of at least five years offering educational programmes at the level of degree and post graduate diplomas. But universities and institutions run by the Centre, State and Union Territories have been exempted from mandatory accreditation and five years experience of granting degrees and diplomas.
d) Technical institutes would not come under the purview of the regulations.
e) Government institutes shall be exempted from accreditation for the purpose of these regulations.
f) Indian educational institutions currently in partnerships need to meet the regulations terms within six months.
g) All institutes in such collaboration will have to make public the academic requirements and other details of the programme on their websites. This must be done before the programme is begun by the Indian educational institute in the partnership.
h) Violations of the rules could lead to termination of the MoU entered into for collaboration.
The benefits from the collaboration will be:
The UGC regulation will open the door for universities and autonomous colleges to offer joint degree programmes in humanities and basic sciences not falling under technical education. Universities and institutions can now offer joint undergraduate programmes in economics, mathematics, sociology, education etc. Students can do part of their study at the Indian institution and part at the collaborating foreign institution. Further foreign collaboration with Indian institutions would enable these institutes improve quality.
The UGC was formally established in November 1956 as a statutory body of the Government of India through an Act of Parliament for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of university education in India. It provides recognition for universities in India, and provides funds for government-recognised universities and colleges.
The UGC's mandate includes:
a) Promoting and coordinating university education.
b) Determining and maintaining standards of teaching, examination and research in universities.
c) Framing regulations on minimum standards of education.
d) Monitoring developments in the field of collegiate and university education; disbursing grants to the universities and colleges.
e) Serving as a vital link between the Union and state governments and institutions of higher learning.
f) Advising the Central and State governments on the measures necessary for improvement of university education.