The Centre is planning to change existing laws to ease restrictions faced by foreign universities while setting up campuses in India.
The central government is pushing for an overhaul of India’s education sector with an aim to woo nearly 7.5 lakh students who spend around $15 billion overseas per year while pursuing higher education, the Business Standard has reported citing Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.
The country’s bureaucracy has remained a hurdle for foreign universities wanting to establish branches in India. They continue to face difficulties in acquiring land and academic staff.
While some foreign universities have already partnered Indian institutions, allowing students to study in India before completing their degrees on the campus abroad.
The aim now is to encourage overseas universities to set up campuses in India without a local partner, the report added.
According to the news report, the minister did not specify what incentives the country would offer to interested foreign universities, except that institutions will be on a level playing field as local players.
The union minister was quoted as being optimistic that foreign universities will establish campuses in India to tap young demographics. By 2021, 34 percent of India’s population will be aged between 15 and 34 years, according to the World Bank. The minister added that India has already signed agreements on educational programs with 55 countries that include exchange of academics and students and cooperation on other initiatives.
Under the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the Centre has also sought to encourage "high-performing Indian universities" to set up campuses overseas, while also facilitating select foreign universities (those from among the top 100 universities in the world) to operate in India.
Also read: Why Indian students may no longer have to spend huge amounts to earn a foreign degree