Who’s checking that foreign degree?
NO GO Indian and foreign joint educational courses are being launched without UGC approvals, despite a regulation to control growth of foreign institutions in India
Hundreds of educational degrees are being of f ered i n I ndia through collaborations between Indian and foreign institutes, but despite regulations which give it the mandate to approve each course, the University Grants Commission ( UGC) has not received a single request for clearance of programme.
Despite the existence of ‘the University Grants Commission (Promotion and Maintenance of Standards of Academic Collaboration between Indian a n d Fo r e i g n E d u c at i o n a l Institution) Regulations 2012’, which was notified in the gazette on September 21, 2013 to control the unchecked growth and variant mode of operations of foreign educational institutions in India, the UGC has so far not been able to perform its regulatory role.
Speaking to this correspondent, a senior UGC official admit- ted that, till date, not a single foreign education provider had approached UGC for its permission to collaborate with Indian educational institutions for awarding general degree courses.
“Regulations 2012, which are still in operation to regulate general degree and post degree courses, define what foreign educational institutions mean and who can award degrees etc. These also set the eligibility criteria and conditions for collaboration for foreign universities so that the interests of the students are not compromised. One of the provisions of Regulations 2012 makes it mandatory for a foreign educational institution to provide UGC with each and every detail of its MoU/collaboration with Indian educational institutes and secure UGC’s approval to start a degree programme. About a hundred international institutes are offering general degree courses in India but till today no one has approached us for approvals,” says the UGC official.
There are a number of international institutes which have tie-ups with Indian educational institutes to offer degree courses. Three types of degrees are awarded through such collaborations. One degree does not mention the name of the foreign counterpart on the certificate. For instance, BML Munjal University ( BMLMU) and the highly regarded Imperial College of London have collaborated for degree courses. A spokesperson from BMLMU, clarifying the university’s position on the collaboration says, “Imperial College London is the academic mentor of BMLMU.