Vietnam, Thailand, Gulf and African Nations Potential Destinations for Offshore Campuses of Indian Universities: UGC Chief

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By Education Today

Posted on March 18, 2023


3 min read

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UGC chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar said African and Gulf nations, Thailand and Vietnam are among potential destinations for Indian universities to set up their offshore campuses. The regulations for the same are ready and will be announced in a month.

In an interview to PTI, Kumar said several countries are coming forward to provide infrastructure to Indian universities to set up campuses abroad and the University Grants Commission (UGC) will handhold the institutions in identifying the countries where they can set up their offshore campuses.

“The academic ecosystem in India is enormous. There are top universities that are supported by the federal government, state governments, and private institutions. We wish to support these universities in establishing campuses overseas. Some nations are stepping up to offer our colleges the infrastructure they need to set up their campuses.

He stated, “There are nations where there is a sizable diaspora of Indians who want our institutions to come and offer education.

Kumar responded, “many African countries,” when asked about the nations that had showed interest in hosting Indian universities.

“African countries have a lot of potential for creating campuses. Thailand, Vietnam, and a few Gulf nations… there is tremendous interest, and there are tremendous prospects as well. Simply put, we don’t currently have any enabling regulations, he continued.

The Middle-East and South Asian nations have been asking several Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to establish their campuses there. 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. There are additional plans for IIT campuses in Egypt, Thailand, Malaysia, and the UK.

“IITs are known as institutions of national importance, they function under IIT Council. It has its own rules and regulations under which they can set up their own campuses. Already some IITs are 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, fee structure and repatriate its 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 can bring to our students. The regulations are being fine tuned now. We also had discussions with various foreign universities delegations which have visited UGC, we have put draft for feedback and have received very good feedback. In another month or so, we will be able to release the final regulations,” he said.

The UGC had in 2021 amended its regulations, allowing Institutions of Eminence to set up campuses abroad after receiving no objection certificates from the ministries of External Affairs and Home Affairs.