Dual Degree under NEP 2020: 48 Foreign Universities express interest in UGC’s twinning initiative

Giving an impetus to India’s effort towards internationalisation of Indian higher education, 48 foreign universities have responded to new regulations and guidelines rolled out by the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) that allow Indian and foreign universities to offer dual, twinning and joint degrees in the same disciplines and subject areas.

According to reports, Scotland’s University of Glasgow has shown interest in discussing the possibilities of academic collaboration, whereas, Australia’s Deakin University in its communication with UGC described NEP 2020 as a ‘progressive policy’ which would help the university establish new relations with Indian institutions. Many other higher education institutions have also expressed interest in setting up satellite campuses in India in response to UGC communication to them.

It was in April 2020 that UGC had notified its regulations with Indian Universities to collaborate with Foreign counterparts to offer dual, twinning and joint degrees. According to these new regulations, students can acquire dual degrees conferred by both Indian and foreign higher educational institutions, separately as well as simultaneously.

Reportedly, The University of Queensland, Australia is likely to meet UGC this August to discuss about a potential collaboration. A French university may set up a satellite centre in India soon. The University of Tokyo found UGC’s proposal attractive and said that it should be taken up as a common interest among all the educational institutions and universities in Japan. University of Cambridge also replied to UGC saying that it has been following the developments of the “NEP with great interest,” and apart from existing partnerships is looking for new ones.

Chairperson, UGC M Jagadesh Kumar is set to meet various ambassadors from next week, starting with Australia, in order to further the talks. “Recently there has been a lot of discussion between the PMs of India and Australia. Education is one of the important topics,” said Jagadesh Kumar.

While the Bangor University, Wales, said that this is good time for such collaborations, SOAS University of London has stated that it looks forward collaborations on lines of the new regulations. While officials from University of Manchester, who are visiting India this week, have proposed a meeting with the UGC head “to discuss UGC Policy and support for twinning arrangements”. UGC has received similar responses from other universities and institutions, including Universität Jena, and Durban University of Technology, South Africa.

“Students from our educational institutions who had gone abroad have done extremely well. So foreign universities know that we impart high quality education. So that’s one of the reasons why many countries have high respect for the educational system in India. The other reason is, we have responses even from universities like Stanford and MIT too. One advantage for these top universities coming and setting up campuses here, because we are also saying that they have to offer undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, is to train students so that they can join PhD programmes either in India or abroad,” said Chairperson, UGC commenting on the development.

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