The University Grants Commission (UGC)’s new regulations and guidelines for their twinning, dual and joint degree programmes, seem to have evoked a lot of interest from foreign educational institutions. Nearly 48 universities have responded to UGC, eager to set up satellite campuses in the country and to collaborate with Indian academic institutions on twinning degree programmes.
While two of the three programmes, twinning and dual degrees, existed earlier, these new amendments will make collaborations between the foreign and Indian institutions easier and more flexible. By and large, the regulatory body has simplified norms on eligibility of institutions to enter into foreign collaborations and dispensed with its elaborate approval processes, all of which, has been left to the two collaborating institutions.
Another highlight of this new regulations has been the launch of the ‘joint degree’, which is a collaborative initiative between an Indian and a foreign institute. The joint programme will be designed by both the collaborating institutes and a single joint degree certificate will be given to the student after he or she completes the course.
In other words, under these new regulations for twinning, dual and joint degree courses, students will be able to earn a dual degree conferred by Indian and foreign educational institutions, separately and simultaneously.
Also read: UGC’s dual-degree scheme removes learning silos, but fees and other concerns remain
Foreign universities knock on UGC’s door
Most of the foreign universities, who responded to the UGC, expressed a desire to open satellite campuses in India after UGC reached out to them. UGC officials told ‘The Times of India’ that a university in France has committed to open a satellite centre in India. The University of Glasgow in Scotland also reportedly evinced interest in an academic collaboration.
University of Queensland in Australia is reportedly meeting UGC officials in August to discuss a collaboration, and the University of Cambridge has written to the UGC saying they are looking for new partnerships besides their existing ones. Most foreign universities are also closely following the developments in India’s New Education Policy.
UGC senior officials are also expected to meet ambassadors of different countries to discuss this new initiative.
Also read: UGC simplifies norms for dual degrees under foreign university tie-ups
Interest in twinning programme
Further, Bangor university in Wales, SOAS University in London are seeking new collaborations as per the new regulations. A group from University of Manchester who is visiting India this week is expected to meet UGC officials to discuss the new policy and support for the twinning programme.
The twinning programme is an arrangement in which students can complete part of their course in a foreign institute and obtain upto 30 per cent of their course credit from them. The foreign institute will provide the student with a certificate stating that they have completed credits worth 30 per cent of the coursework. However, the degree will be given by the Indian institute.
Universitat Jena, Germany and Durban University of Technology South Africa have all evinced interest in these collaborative programmes with Indian educational institutions. Acclaimed universities like MIT and Stanford too have expressed interest largely because of the advantage of setting up campuses here and offering undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in India. In this way, they will be able to train students for PhD programmes, which they can pursue either in India or abroad.