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UGC nod must for tie-up with foreign university

Prakash Kumar, NEW DELHI, September 25, 2013, DHNS: 0:55 IST

Institutions have to comply with norms within 6 months

Any existing collaboration between an Indian and a foreign educational institution to offer joint degree or post-graduate courses without approval of the University Grants Commission (UGC) will become illegal in the country six months from now.

A gazette notification of regulations framed by the UGC to allow partnership between an Indian universities or colleges with a foreign educational institution have come into effect from September 21, making it mandatory for all institutions to get UGC approval before offering programmes in collaborative arrangement.

“Institutions operating in a collaborative arrangement will have to comply with the regulations within six months from the date of their coming to force.

These regulations will come into force on the date of their publication in the official gazette,” stipulate the regulations. As per a 2006 study by the Association of Indian Universities, over 340 institutes were offering courses in collaboration with foreign institutes in the country.

The UGC regulations seek to protect students from falling into the trap of dubious educational opportunities by ensuring that only genuine academic collaborations are encouraged, said a UGC official.

As per the (Promotion and Maintenance of Standards of Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Educational Institutions) Regulations, a foreign educational institution accredited with the “highest grade” in their homeland will be allowed to have twinning arrangements with Indian universities and colleges.

Such foreign institutions will be allowed to forge partnerships with only those Indian universities and colleges which have at least five years of experience in offering degrees and post-graduate diploma programmes and are accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council with a grate not less than “B”.

As per the regulations, foreign educational institutions will have to ensure that the programmes of study offered and imparted by them in India are in conformity with the standards laid down by the statutory body concerned.

The Indian institution will have to get the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to be signed with their foreign partner, approved by the UGC before going ahead with the partnership.

Approvals will be valid for five years, which may be extended or withdrawn by the UGC on the basis of reviews of performance to be conducted by the commission.
The commission will have powers to cancel partnership between two institutions, recommend withdrawal of deemed-university status and blacklist foreign institutes in cases of malpractice.

While issuing a direction for termination of MoU between institutions in case of violation of rules, the UGC will have to ensure that students enrolled with the programmes do not suffer and are allowed to continue “till they obtain the requisite qualification”.

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