The regulations mandate that only institutes graded ‘A’ by the National Board of Accreditation or the National Assessment & Accreditation Council can collaborate with foreign institutes, which, in turn, must figure in list of top 500 global educational institutes, as ranked by the Times Higher Education Rankings or the Shanghai Rankings.
The Indian Express had first reported in March that the HRD Ministry had asked UGC to frame such regulations.
The guidelines also cover existing tie-ups though Indian institutions will have six months to meet the new eligibility criteria. In case they fail to do so, they will have to terminate the agreements.
Institutions that refuse to comply with the new regulations can lose UGC funding, de-recognition in case of a deemed university, and public notices announcing the ineligibility of the institution to enter into collaborations with foreign partners.
“As per a 2006 study by the Association of Indian Universities, over 340 institutes in India were offering courses in collaboration with foreign educational institutes. The idea is simply to regulate this growing area for the benefit of students so that only genuine academic collaborations are encouraged,” said UGC Chairman Prof Ved Prakash.
Students will not only get a degree from the Indian institute where they are enrolled but also from the collaborating foreign institute, if it is inclined to give one, to help their job prospectus.
The regulations are part of an effort the HRD Ministry’s attempt to find non-legislative ways to push through reforms in higher education while its Bills, including the Foreign University Bill, are pending in Parliament.
The UGC, meanwhile, deferred a decision on the controversial issue of allowing foreign universities into India as deemed universities or as private state universities.