ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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FHEIs Draft Regulations, 2023

Concerns and Contradictions

For the last two decades, there have been attempts to allow the branch campuses of foreign universities through legislative measures. However, in the recent Draft UGC Regulations, 2023, effort is made to allow such universities to operate and confer degree, bypassing even the legislative route. The article contends the point that the draft regulation is anti-constitutional and stands on weak legal grounds. It will distort the public higher education institutions and by creating further exclusion, it fails to serve the national interests. The policymakers need to deliberate further on the implications of such a policy on the already unequal landscape of education.

The Draft of University Grants Commission (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations, 2023 (hereinafter referred to as FHEI Regulations, 2023) was introduced with an aim to “provide an international dimension to higher education, enable Indian students to obtain foreign qualifications at affordable cost, and make India an attractive global study destination” (UGC 2023). Experts note that the regulation favours the FHEIs by allowing them to hire faculty, determining fees and to repatriate income abroad. There is a fear of further commercialisation, entry of second-tier institutions, poaching of academic faculty from public-funded institutions, unaffordable fee structure, and cultural domination. When higher educational institutions in India suffer from structural and funding constraints, many have questioned the possibility of creating world-class education through this new initiative. The experts have expressed their concerns over lowering the condition for setting branch campus from top 100 world ranked to top 500 world ranked FHEIs.

Supporters of the FHEI argue that the top-quality and high-ranked universities shall create an international education hub in India. They also believe it will attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in higher education and shall save billions of dollars by stopping the outward mobility of students. Further, it is assumed that branch campuses will create competition and improve quality of domestic institutions (public and private), improve the employability of graduates and offer popular courses.

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Updated On : 15th May, 2023
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