Sibal sets terms for foreign varsities

UGC rules to regulate education providers

 
All Indian rules, including reservation for eligible students, should be applicable to such institutions, Union Minister for Human Resources Development, Kapil Sibal, told reporters here on Sunday.

Defending 100 per cent ownership of foreign institutions, he said it will help to improve the quality of education besides preventing external interference. However, a high-power committee will take a final call on the matter.

Some political parties have objected to the provision of 100 per cent ownership for foreign universities. The minister said the issue will be sorted out through talks.

Foreign education providers will have to get clearance from the accreditation committee for quality control before setting up campuses in the country. Apart from this, all such institutions should be accredited in their country of origin. They should also be in existence for at least 10 years before opening campus in India, Sibal said.

Foreign universities should not take Indian students for a ride, the minister said. The aspiring institutes will have to go through the accreditation procedure of the country. “The foreign education providers will be regulated by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and any successive regulatory body” he added.

The ministry has already prepared a draft bill dealing with the issue. It is expected to come up before the Cabinet soon. Some foreign universities have already approached the government expressing their inclination to open campuses in the country. The minister hoped that foreign universities will  start operations by next year.

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