UGC: Indian Universities Can Now Collaborate With Foreign Universities

New Delhi, 20 April 2022: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved regulations titled “ UGC (Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Higher Educational Institutions to offer Twinning, Joint Degree and Dual Degree Programmes) Regulations, 2022”. As per the regulations, Indian and foreign higher education institutions will now offer three kinds of programs: joint, dual degrees, and twinning programs.

  • As per the decision, any Indian institution accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a minimum score of 3.01 or in the top 100 in the university category of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), or an institution of Eminence can collaborate with any foreign institution in the top 1000 of the Times Higher Education or QS World University ranking.
  • The eligible institutions do not need approval from the UGC but have to get the programs approved by the statutory body concerned (for example, AICTE for engineering courses), enter into an agreement with the foreign institution, and inform the UGC about the collaboration.

Note: The regulations shall not be applicable to programs offered online and in the open and distance learning mode.

Name of the Regulation
  • UGC (Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Higher Educational Institutions to offer Twinning, Joint Degree and Dual Degree Programmes) Regulations, 2022”.
Types of programs
  • Dual (where both colleges award the degree, albeit in the same subject)
  • Joint and Twinning (where part of the course is completed overseas with the upper limit being 30% in twinning programs, and the lower limit is 30% in joint programs)
Eligibility
  • An Indian college must have a minimum National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) score of 3.01 or figure in the top 100 in the university category of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) or in the top 1000 of Times Higher Education or QS World University ranking.
  • Foreign universities should be in the top 1000 of Times Higher Education or QS World University ranking to be eligible to collaborate with Indian educational institutions.

UGC’s Regulations For Dual, Joint Degree Programmes With Foreign Universities: Details

1. The regulations allow three types of degree programs: 

  • Dual (where both colleges award the degree, albeit in the same subject)
  • Joint and Twinning (where part of the course is completed overseas with the upper limit being 30% in twinning programs, and the lower limit is 30% in joint programs)

2. The UGC has set eligibility criteria for Indian and foreign higher education institutions for collaboration under the new regulations.

This includes the following:

  • An Indian college must have a minimum National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) score of 3.01 or figure in the top 100 in the university category of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) or in the top 1000 of Times Higher Education or QS World University ranking.
  • Foreign universities should be in the top 1000 of Times Higher Education or QS World University ranking to be eligible to collaborate with Indian educational institutions.

UGC’s Regulations For Dual, Joint Degree Programmes With Foreign Universities: Collaboration Process

  • The two higher educational institutions will have to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or written agreement. 
  • This agreement will have to spell out provisions related to student obligations, fees and other financial arrangements, intellectual property rights, attendance patterns, duration of stay for the study program in both the institutions, joint supervision arrangements, the language of thesis and examinations, admission and evaluation processes, and graduation procedures.

UGC’s Regulations For Dual, Joint Degree Programmes With Foreign Universities: Collaboration Provisions

  • All three programs have to be offline.
  • Under the ‘twinning program’, students enrolled with an Indian university will be allowed to complete their program in a foreign university. Students can earn a maximum of 30% of the credits required for the program in a foreign educational institution. The degree offered under such twinning programs shall be awarded by the Indian university.
  • For a ‘joint degree program’, the curriculum shall be designed jointly by the Indian and foreign institutions concerned. Students who complete the program will be awarded a degree jointly awarded by the Indian higher educational institution and the collaborating foreign institution. Students will have to earn at least 30% of the total credits from each collaborating institution.
  • In the case of a dual degree program, the students must earn at least 30% of the total credits from each institution. The credit earned for the course(s) in an institution will be counted towards degrees to be awarded by both institutions. In this case, the degrees shall be conferred by the Indian and foreign institutions, separately and simultaneously, upon completion of the degree requirements of both the institutions.

Note

  • For both dual and joint degree programs, UGC requires the collaborating institutions to ensure that the credits earned by the students are not from overlapping course content or curriculum.
  • In the case of a doctoral degree or Ph.D. program, students will be provided supervision at each institution, and they will have to spend a minimum of one semester in each of them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which programs will be offered by Indian and foreign higher education institutions?

Indian and foreign higher education institutions will now offer three kinds of programs: joint, dual degrees, and twinning programs.

Which higher universities in India will be allowed to collaborate with foreign universities?

Any Indian institution accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a minimum score of 3.01 or in the top 100 in the university category of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) or an institution of Eminence can collaborate with any foreign institution in the top 1000 of the Times Higher Education or QS World University ranking.

What is the eligibility criteria for Indian and foreign higher education institutions to collaborate with foreign institutions?

An Indian college must have a minimum National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) score of 3.01 or figure in the top 100 in the university category of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) or in the top 1000 of Times Higher Education or QS World University ranking. Foreign universities should be in the top 1000 of Times Higher Education or QS World University ranking to be eligible to collaborate with Indian educational institutions.

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