The University Grants Commission (UGC) has formulated a plan to increase the number of international students coming to India. The information has been shared by UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar in a talk with the Press Trust of India (PTI).
As a part of the plan, UGC has allowed Indian Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to create upto 25% supernumerary seats for international students. HEIs will be able to create these seats over the total sanctioned seat intake. The seats will be available in the UG and PG courses offered by these institutions.
This seems to be an opportune time to make this decision, as universities worldwide are reporting an increased demand from students to study abroad.
Additionally, there will be no entrance test for admission to these seats, and the decision regarding admission will be taken by the respective HEIs. The guidelines regarding the requirements, infrastructure and faculty will be issued by the governing bodies.
Mr Kumar said, “Indian HEIs may admit international students based on the equivalence of entry qualification held by them. The equivalence is to be determined by UGC or any other body recognised by UGC for such purpose or the concerned regulatory bodies of the country. HEIs may adopt a transparent admission process for admitting the international students,” Mr. Kumar told PTI.”
These supernumerary seats will only be available for international students, and cannot be allotted to anyone else in case it is left unoccupied.
International students under exchange programmes and specific MOUs between institutions or between the Indian government and the government in other countries will not be included in these seats.
The number of international students in India has fallen drastically post-pandemic. As per the MEA-issued data, 23,439 international students came to India in 2021, less than a third of the 75,000+ students in 2019.
Mr Kumar said that the internationalisation of higher education is an essential aspect of the National Education Policy 2020 and helps in integrating the international and intercultural dimensions in higher education.
UGC has recently also issued regulations to facilitate partnerships between Indian and foreign higher education institutions.
He added that “The main objectives of these guidelines are to facilitate a smooth and simple admission of international students in higher educational institutions of India, to create a favourable environment for attracting international students to Indian higher education system, and to make India a preferred destination for international students.”
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