The University Grants Commission of India on Thursday put forth a draft legislation for public feedback and review that would facilitate foreign universities to set up branches in India as per recommendations from the National Education Policy released in 2020.
The draft legislation notes that only top 500 institutions globally in their respective discipline would be allowed to set up and operate out of India. The draft bill reads, “If the applicant is a foreign university, it should have secured a position within the top 500 of overall / subject-wise global rankings.”
Moreover, the bill demands that the quality of the education imparted and the value of the degree be at par with the main campus of the foreign university.
“(i) the quality of education imparted by it in its Indian campus is at par with that of the main campus in the country of origin, (ii) the qualifications awarded to the students in the Indian campus shall be recognised and treated as equivalent to the corresponding qualifications awarded by the Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in the main campus,” says the draft law.
UGC’s draft bill grants the institution permission to decide the fee structure. It reads, “The foreign institute shall decide the fee structure, which should be transparent and reasonable.”
This decision is being welcomed by students Business Today spoke to. Manu Pathak, a first year B.Comm student at Delhi University told Business Today, “If say LSE or HEC or INSEAD can open a campus in India which grants a degree which has same value as main campus, it is good for us. Because it will reduce all the logistical hurdles of traveling to and fro and the expenses of traveling and visa problems. Moreover, like the policy draft also says that the fee structure has to be reasonable, so of course relatively India is not so expensive so you get same degree for less money, it is a good move.”
Satyum Kumar, a final year engineering student at IIT Kharagpur notes that if the draft bill becomes a law, it will help in improving the standards of education in India, but certain things like quality of education need to be closely monitored.
“Overall good decision, but the UGC will have to ensure that the standard of education is at par. If MIT opens a campus in India, they must have similar high-tech labs, well-trained TAs, and similar faculty,” says Kumar.
The engineering student says that the UGC should make it compulsory that the main campus faculty teach a few semesters at the India campus.
He says, “I say, make it a norm, if Walter Lewin or John Gruber is teaching at MIT Cambridge campus, they should teach some classes in India campus also.”
Walter Lewin is a retired professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). John Gruber is a professor of economics at MIT.
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today