On Thursday, the University Grants Commission (UGC) notified the draft norms to facilitate reputed foreign universities and educational institutions to set up campuses in India in line with its National Education Policy 2020.

According to these draft norms, any foreign university among the top 500 global rankings or a foreign educational institution of repute in home jurisdiction can apply to set up a campus in India via the UGC. 

“The new National Education Policy [NEP], 2020 has envisioned that top universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India. For this, a legislative framework facilitating such entry will be put in place, and such universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India,” - UGC Chairperson M. Jagadesh Kumar said at a press conference.

He further added that "These regulations shall regulate the entry and operations of Foreign Universities/Institutions in India to conduct undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral, post-doctoral, and other programs and award degrees, diplomas, and certificates in all disciplines."

In addition, "No Foreign Higher Educational Institutions (FHEIs) will be allowed to set up campuses in the country without the approval of the UGC," as notified under the University Grants Commission (Setting up and Operation of Campuses of Foreign Higher Educational Institutions in India) Regulations, 2023.

The foreign institute has to ensure that the quality of education imparted by it in its Indian campus is at par with that of the main campus in the country of origin, the press release said.

As per Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2023, Australia has 31 universities in the top 500 globally. Thus, they're eligible to set up their university campuses in India. 

The following table lists them out for your quick reference. 

Australia Rank 2023 World Rankings (Under 500) University Name City Name State/Territory
1 34 University of Melbourne Melbourne Victoria
2 44 Monash University Melbourne Victoria
3 53 The University of Queensland Brisbane Queensland
4 54 University of Sydney Sydney New South Wales
5 62 Australian National University Canberra Australian Capital Territory
6 71 UNSW Sydney Kensington New South Wales
7 88 University of Adelaide Adelaide South Australia
8 131 The University of Western Australia Perth Western Australia
9 133 University of Technology Sydney Sydney New South Wales
10 175 Macquarie University Sydney New South Wales
11 201–250 Curtin University Perth Western Australia
11 201–250 University of Newcastle Callaghan New South Wales
11 201–250 Queensland University of Technology Brisbane Queensland
11 201–250 Western Sydney University Sydney New South Wales
11 201–250 University of Wollongong Wollongong New South Wales
16 251–300 Australian Catholic University Sydney New South Wales
16 251–300 Bond University Gold Coast Queensland
16 251–300 University of Canberra Canberra Australian Capital Territory
16 251–300 Deakin University Geelong Victoria
16 251–300 Griffith University Brisbane, Gold Coast, Logan Queensland
16 251–300 La Trobe University Melbourne Victoria
22 301–350 Flinders University Adelaide South Australia
22 301–350 RMIT University Melbourne Victoria
22 301–350 University of South Australia Adelaide South Australia
22 301–350 University of Southern Queensland Toowoomba Queensland
22 301–350 Swinburne University of Technology Hawthorn Victoria
22 301–350 University of Tasmania Hobart Tasmania
28 351–400 Charles Darwin University Casuarina Australian Capital Territory
28 351–400 Edith Cowan University Joondalup Western Australia
28 351–400 James Cook University Townsville City Queensland
31 401-500 Murdoch University Murdoch Western Australia

Note: Some Australian universities have already partnered with Indian institutions, allowing Indian students to partially study in India and complete their degrees on the main campus there. This recent move will further encourage these overseas universities to set up campuses without local partners.

The Best News - Reasonable & Transparent Fees

The best news for aspiring students is that UGC has also notified them about the foreign universities setting up their Indian campuses to follow a "reasonable and transparent" fee structure. 

Universities, however, can evolve their admission process and criteria to admit both domestic and international students. They will also have autonomy to decide their fee structure and will face no caps as imposed on their Indian counterparts. 

Adding to this is the autonomy to recruit faculty and staff from India and/or abroad. However, no courses can be online, open, or distance learning.

Lastly, the qualifications awarded to the students on the Indian campus should equate with those awarded by the institutions in their country of origin.

Here is what S. Vaidhyasubramaniam, Vice-Chancellor, SASTRA Deemed University has to convey to the UGC - "The UGC should ensure an equal amount of academic, administrative, and financial autonomy to Indian universities as much as foreign universities might be entitled to. Such a level playing field will ensure progressive competition and increase overall quality and excellence in Indian higher education." 


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