NEW DELHI: In a move that can change the education landscape in the country, the Centre is looking at allowing top foreign universities from the US, the UK, Australia and other countries to set up off-campus centres in India. A key proposal being considered as part of the Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme — the five-year vision plan on higher education — by the Union Human Resources Development Ministry includes allowing “select” universities to set up and operate centres in India.
At present, some global higher education brands, such as University of Chicago, Harvard Business School, Deakin University and Virginia Tech have been permitted to open research centres. The latest move comes following a report titled EQUIP, prepared by 10 expert groups, constituted to give shape to a five-year project to revamp higher education included names such as former revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, principal scientific advisor to Prime Minister K Vijay Raghavan and former Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan.
The vision plan on “internationalisation of higher education”, prepared under the chairmanship of Kant, has recommended that universities, such as those from among the top 200 universities in the world, be permitted to set up and operate off-campus centres in India.
It has also said that the Foreign Education Providers Bill will be “relooked with an open mind”. The Bill — originally brought in the Parliament in 2013 under the Manmohan Singh government — which envisaged clearing certain parameters financially and academically by foreign universities, before they could establish centres here, had got stuck and lapsed.
“EQUIP is an implementation plan to the reforms related to higher education in the national education policy and we are already working towards following its recommendations,” said a senior official in the Ministry. There is also a proposal to allow “reputed” Indian institutes of higher education, public and private, which meet specified eligibility criteria to set up “off-campus centres in select countries”.
“MHRD will come up with enabling provisions to permit the top-ranked institutions participating in the ‘Study in India’ program to set up their off-campus centres abroad,” said the proposal.
At present, some global higher education brands, such as University of Chicago, Harvard Business School, Deakin University and Virginia Tech have been permitted to open research centres to capture a portion of the market of executive education and other research partnership opportunities