New Regulations for Foreign Academic Collaboration

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With an aim to promote foreign collaborations with a view to increasing synergy between Indian and foreign academic institutions and to offer students additional choices Human Resource Development Minister, Smriti Irani, announced certain measures.

These measures are aimed at improving curriculum and the delivery of knowledge and educational content. To implement the new regulations UGC had to supersede its 2012 regulations.


MHRD informed that these amendments respond to the aspirational needs expressed by students to engage with Foreign Educational Institutions of repute, study in part in these institutions and acquire a formal recognition of this in the form of a degree.

The dedicated UGC portal to receive applications and convey approvals will be launched shortly by the UGC. Timelines have been stipulated at different stages of the application.

The measures announced are:

Indian Universities and Colleges, having the highest grade of accreditation or threshold accreditation, will now be able to apply online to the University Grants Commission (UGC) for starting twinning and collaborative arrangement with quality Foreign Educational Institutions (FEIs) in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes leading to the award of a degree.

The degree will be awarded by the Indian Educational Institutions (IEIs) alone; joint degrees are not permitted. However, the name of the collaborating FEI can be indicated on the degree, the logo and primacy being of the Indian institution.

Credits from collaborating FEI when jointly signed by the IEI shall form part of the transcript. FEI may also sign the transcript or credit issued by the IEI.

Students benefit from these amendments:

For students wishing to study abroad, for the experience, exposure and academic benefits, this represents lower cost to achieve that.

This will offer unprecedented academic mobility through acquiring of credits and study at reputed institution abroad.

Conditions set by UGC for collaboration:

The MHRD informed that the regulations do not cover technical institutions, for which AICTE will leverage and bring out similar methodology and facilitative regulations. Universities or institutions that are recognised by UGC and FEIs intending to collaborate will be benefitted.

The Regulations stipulate that only IEIs with 'A' grade or threshold accreditation (or IEIs other than governing institutions) should have experience of 6 years or at least 2 batches passed out and similarly 'A' grade or threshold level accreditation if the IEIs in their own country will be eligible for collaboration.

A bench mark for quality has therefore been set for the collaborations. To maintain academic credibility and seriousness, a minimum duration of collaboration has been specified under one semester for postgraduate degree and 2 semesters for undergraduate degree.

The UGC will examine complaints relating to academic collaborations being run in violation of these regulations and if prima-facie evidence of fraud is found, it will inform Central and State authorities for appropriate action under the framework of the law, including penal action.

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