The Institutes of Eminence (IoEs) in India, such as the IIT and IISc, will now be allowed to set up campuses abroad, as the University Grants Commission (UGC) has amended its regulations after receiving no-objection certificates from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Commission released the new UGC (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) (Amendments) Regulations 2021 on Thursday, allowing foreign campuses for top-ranked institutions.
Currently, the Indian government has declared 20 institutes — 10 private and 10 public, including IIT-Delhi, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Madras, IIT-Kharagpur, IISc and the University of Hyderabad, among others — as IoEs.
The plan to allow Indian institutions to establish campuses abroad was initiated last year itself. In August 2020, the Ministry had asked all IoEs whether they would be interested in setting up campuses overseas, as this is a provision under the new National Education Policy.
As per the amended UGC regulations, an IoE is permitted to set up to three foreign centres in five years, but not more than once in an academic year.
An institution willing to establish a centre abroad will have to submit an application to the Ministry of Education containing its 10-year “strategic vision plan” and a five-year “rolling implementation plan”. This would include the plans for academics, faculty recruitment, student admissions, research, infrastructure development, finance and administration, etc.
The IoEs must ensure that the foreign campuses evolve into multi-disciplinary research and teaching campuses with at least 300 teachers and 3,000 students. A proposed centre should achieve a teacher-student ratio of 1:20 in the beginning, and 1:10 by the end of five years.
The faculty may include regular faculty, adjunct faculty, overseas faculty, visiting faculty, contractual faculty, industry faculty and tenure track faculty or faculty as otherwise permitted by the Statutory Council concerned.
At least 60% of the appointed faculty members should be on a permanent basis. The institute should also have enrolled a minimum of 500 students under regular classroom mode with one third Post Graduate or research students.
The campus should have a “built-up area of not less than thirty square metres per student which shall include academic (academic buildings, library, lecture hall, laboratories. etc.), administrative (hostels, faculty residences, health care), common and recreational facilities”.
The institutes will have to ensure that the norms and standards followed at the off-campus centres are the same as those maintained on the main campus. Foreign campuses have to follow similar admission criteria, curriculum, examination system and evaluation.