Indian higher educational institutions (HEIs) must follow University Grants Commission’s (UGC) latest regulations for twinning and dual degree programs with foreign universities, the Commission has ruled.
Currently, 230 Indian and 1,256 foreign HEIs are eligible to offer twinning, joint degree, and dual degree programs, as per the new regulations.
Under the twinning program, Indian HEI students may study partly in India and in foreign institutions but the Indian HEI will award the degree.
For joint degrees, the collaborating institutions will jointly design the curriculum and the partnering institution will award the degree with a single certificate. Students must earn at least 30% of the total credits from each of the Indian and foreign institutions. For dual degree programs, the partnering institutions will confer the degree separately and simultaneously on completion of the degree requirements of both institutions. However, students must earn at least 30% of total credits from the Indian institution.
Transfer and recognition of credits are allowed but the credits shall not be from overlapping course contents/curriculum. Nor can these programs be offered online or in open distance learning mode.
The Commission had notified the regulations in May mandating Indian universities to enter into a written agreement with the foreign institution.
All Indian institutions with a NAAC score of 3.01 on a scale of 4 or figuring in the top 1000 Times Higher Education or QS World University ranking or among the top 100 in the university category of NIRF are eligible. Foreign institutions must figure in top 1000 of Times Higher Education or QS world university ranking.
According to the UGC, 13 Indian institutions are offering twinning and eight, joint degrees. Nine institutions are offering dual degree programs.
Of the 26 eligible central universities, eight have shared information on such collaborations. Five of them, including a central university, are not aligned with the UGC’s mandate.
In the State, 33 institutions, including eight State-run universities, are eligible for the program.
Pondicherry University from the south is offering a twinning, joint degree and a dual degree in collaboration with Indiana University, USA. Banaras Hindu University is initiating steps to align its academic and research partnership with foreign HEIs as per the regulations. and Jawaharlal Nehru University has a twinning arrangement with Heidelberg University, Germany.
Tata Institute of Social Sciences is offering two international dual degree programs from this academic year — one is in collaboration with Monash University, Australia in the field of international development practice and the other is a dual degree with the Queen Mary University of London in the field of social entrepreneurship and international business.
The first-of-its-kind programs to be offered in the country are aligned with the objectives of the National Education Policy, the UGC said.