Universities seeking twinning programmes with foreign academic institutes now need top accreditation grades and approvals from regulatory agencies.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) recently issued regulations on the collaborations, although the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had in place provisions for such tie-ups.

Through these collaborations universities aim to increase synergy between Indian and foreign academic institutions, improve their curriculum, delivery of knowledge and educational content.  Students also get additional choices.

The UGC (Promotion and Maintenance of Standards of Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Educational Institutions) Regulations 2016, say that Indian universities and colleges with the highest grade of accreditation and those conforming to other eligibility conditions laid down in the regulations can apply online to the UGC to start twinning arrangements with foreign educational institutions (FEIs).

AICTE regulations for technical twinning programme require an Indian university department or institution to have a valid National Board of Accreditation (NBA) accreditation for one year beyond April 10, 2017 for the course in which it seeks twinning.

No foreign universities and institutions can carry out any educational activity in India to award programmes (diploma, postgraduate diploma, degree, postgraduate degree, postgraduate diploma, doctoral) without specific approval from AICTE.

In case a twinning programme’s approval is withdrawn or a visa is not granted for a semester/s abroad, the student can be absorbed in the regular curriculum in the Indian university or board and get an Indian degree.

In exceptional cases, AICTE will shift the students to other approved institutions in coordination with the state government. The institution in such cases will have to return the entire fee from students to the institutions in which such students are accommodated.

Such foreign institutions will not be allowed to collaborate with any other institution or enter into a collaborative arrangement in India for at least the next three years.

Source: Hindustan Times