UGC expands foreign tieup scope

In a move that could help improve foreign partnership and investment in India’s higher education sector, the University Grants Commission has allowed Indian institutes with Grade B accreditation to enter into collaboration with foreign players.
The commission has notified regulations allowing an institute in India with a B grade accreditation enter into collaboration with a foreign institute. The move is expected to help these institutes improve quality in India’s higher education sector.
The notification comes after increase in the number of Indian institutes offering twinning courses with foreign collaborators. However, the UGC has made it mandatory that the foreign institutions should be accredited with the highest grade in their respective country to enter twinning arrangements with Indian institutions.
The regulations would be called as The UGC (Promotion and Maintenance of Standards of Academic Collaborations between Indian and Foreign Educational Institutes) Regulations 2012.
“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,” the gazette notification said. Technical institutes would not come under the purview of the regulations while government institutes shall be exempted from accreditation.
Indian educational institutions already having a collaborative arrangement shall comply with these regulations within a period of six months, the notification said. Indian institutes collaborating with foreign institutes shall have experience of at least five years offering educational programmes at the level of degree and post-graduate diplomas.
Institutes involved in collaborations have been asked to make public the academic requirements and other details of the programme in respective websites. Sources stated that these regulations have been included so that non serious players do not enter the field and there is also little scope for duping of students by fraudulent schemes.

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