The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Wednesday notified regulations under which the highest graded Indian educational institutions can engage in academic collaboration with foreign educational institutions of the highest grade in their country of origin.

The move aims to increase joint collaborative attempts between institutions which will also help ‘internationalise’ the curricula of domestic educational organisations.

“In 2012, a similar facility was provided for enhancing engagement with foreign institutions. However, the UGC has informed us that that they received no application under those regulations,” Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani told reporters here.

This, she said, was because only the foreign institution could approach the UGC — Indian institutions had no such engagement available under the previous UGC regulation. Now, an Indian institution can also approach the regulator.

“This does not mean a joint degree will be undertaken. The degree will be given by the Indian institution. The certificate of the degree shall carry the name of the foreign institution as well,” Irani said.

No to franchises This, however, also does not mean that foreign universities can open up franchises here, she added.

Under the new regulations, the credits of the course that a student undertakes will be recognised by the foreign partner under the MoU.

An undergraduate student will have to mandatorily spend two semesters abroad while a post-graduate student will spend one semester abroad.

“For institutions that have attempted such collaborations in the past, we have given a window of one year to approach the regulator now. They can now receive legal sanctity for their engagement,” Irani said.

Online application Academic institutions that seek collaborations can apply with the UGC online.

“Within 30 days, all applications have to be responded to. It has also been made mandatory for the regulator to accept or reject the application in 60 working days,” she added.

Under the new regulations, a UGC committee to process applications will comprise persons with expertise in international academics and international jurisprudence.

Institutions that seek foreign academic collaboration will need experts in that particular field or in the field of international jurisprudence to help process applications.