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49 Foreign Universities to Partner with Indian Colleges, Universities: UGC Chairman

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has received positive responses from foreign universities for proposals to offer joint and dual degree programs with Indian higher educational institutes. According to UGC chief M Jagadesh Kumar, at least 49 foreign universities have shown an interest to collaborate academically with Indian universities.

Academic partnerships between Indian and international higher education institutions were permitted by India’s higher education body in May this year. In accordance with the 2016 regulations, an Indian and a foreign university could collaborate to offer only “twinning” and “joint degree” programs, in which case Indian students would only receive a degree from an Indian institution along with a certificate from the foreign institution . However, they are now able to offer a third sort of curriculum, known as a “dual degree” programme, in which both institutes will grant degrees.

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A student can receive up to 30 per cent of the total course credits through a twinning program from a foreign university, however, under a joint or dual degree programme, they can receive more than 30 per cent of the total course credits.

According to Hindustan Times, Kumar says that a number of these universities are drafting their memorandums of understanding for the partnerships. “The UGC is proactively contacting these universities. Several universities are in the process of preparing the MoUs. These processes involve discussions and approvals within the university’s statutory bodies. Therefore, let us give them time to work on these matters,” he remarked. Additionally, 230 Indian and 1,256 foreign higher education institutions have been identified by the authority as meeting the requirements for these collaborations.

A total of 48 Indian universities are either committed or actively pursuing partnerships with international higher education institutions (HEIs) as part of the government’s twinning programme.

Foreign varsities that have shown interest in partnering with Indian HEIs include Michigan State University, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Paris University, Heidelberg University, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, the University of Newcastle in Australia, University of Birmingham, Queen Mary University of London, among others.

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