In a survey, where 43 internationally ranked universities participated, 16 said they are not considering a campus here, and another 16 are undecided. The eight which expressed interest claimed they would prefer Indian students to begin with to ensure sufficient enrolments and sustainability of their venture.
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The survey “Establishing International Branch Campuses in India,” by the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), a central government funded deemed to be university, was conducted between December 21, 2020 to February 12, 2021 to elicit responses from the top 200 universities of the THE World University Rankings 2021 on their views on setting up their international campuses in India. The respondents include three from the ‘top 10’.
As per the report, all the eight respondents that indicated ‘definitely consider’ India as a potential destination for establishing international branch campuses said that there is a need for liberal regulatory framework for improving the attractiveness of India. This is of particular significance because the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 had recommended to allow only universities from the ‘top 100 category’ in the world university rankings to operate in India.
According to Eldho Mathews, deputy adviser, Unit for International Cooperation, NIEPA, “Contrary to popular view, foreign universities in the top category are also interested in establishing their campuses in India. But most of them are adopting a wait and watch approach as the government rules and regulations are yet to be framed.”
Of the 43 universities which participated in the survey, 14 are from the UK, 13 from the US and 6 are from Canada. Nine of these universities are in the top 50 of the Times Higher Education World Rankings and 30 are in top 150 rankings.
The survey also sought the views on preferred campus model and the report suggested that the number of universities preferring some kind of tie-up with government-run institutions or assistance directly from the government is higher than setting up with private assistance or no external assistance.
“Promoting various models of branch campuses would be helpful in attracting more universities. Similarly, universities that are willing to offer programs that are relevant for the skill needs of the country should be given priority,” said Mathews.
Some of the models suggested in the report are the US-based Webster University in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom’s University of Nottingham in Ningbo, China and Singapore Institute of Management’s partnership with the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Management, located at the State University of New York at Buffalo for its Bachelor of Science degree program in business administration offered in Singapore, among others.