India Poised to Permit Foreign Universities to Establish Physical Campuses
Kegler Brown Global Business News May 23, 2022
- India’s foremost higher education regulator has formed a committee to finalize rules that would allow foreign universities to open physical campuses in India.
- Regulatory reform on this issue has long been awaited and welcomed by the international educational community.
- This is a landmark development for non-Indian colleges and universities looking to expand access to the country’s educational market as part of a comprehensive global market strategy.
As part of its recent and evolving openness to the presence of foreign colleges and universities’ partnering and growing relationships with their Indian counterparts, the country’s foremost higher education regulator (the University Grants Commission or UGC) has formed a committee to finalize rules that would allow foreign universities to open physical campuses in India.
[For historical perspective, the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulations of Entry and Operations) Bill, crafted in 2010, was introduced in the parliament and proposed to regulate the entry and operation of foreign educational institutions looking to offer instructional programming. However, that bill eventually lapsed in 2016 and, as such, India’s current regulations do not explicitly permit foreign universities to establish physical campuses in the subcontinent. Regulatory bodies like the UGC and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) currently oversee aspects surrounding twinning arrangements and other collaborative programs from non-India colleges and universities.]
The government of India has noted that world-class foreign universities and institutions will now be allowed in the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), a central business district in Ahmedabad, to offer courses in financial management, FinTech, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, free from domestic regulations, except those imposed by the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) to facilitate availability of high-end human resources for financial services and technology.
Regulatory reform on this issue has long been awaited and welcomed by the international educational community, particularly so that non-Indian universities would be allowed to function independently without being subjected to stringent regulations historically applicable to Indian universities. Clearly, this will be a landmark development under the National Education Policy of India 2020 (NEP) for foreign colleges and universities looking to access the Indian educational market as part of a comprehensive global market strategy without having to rely upon third parties or Indian counterparts. However, the NEP also suggests that the approval could be provided to allow only global “top 100” universities to open such campuses in the country. Once the foreign campus regulations are fully promulgated, we will provide further updates to offer a clearer picture of their applicability and scope.
For more information on the current state of the committee’s work and for selected commentary on its implications from UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar, please view this article from moneycontrol.com.
Licensed to practice law in India and the U.S., Vinita Mehra is a director and chair of Kegler Brown’s Global Education practice where she works closely with in-house counsel and other college and university leaders in devising, evaluating and implementing education strategies that build revenue and expand institutional brands globally. She can be reached at [email protected] or (614) 255-5508.