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UGC Announces Draft Rules for Recognition of Foreign Degrees

The UGC announced draft rules for the recognition of degrees from overseas universities on Thursday but did not include degrees gained through online or distant education. According to the draft rules, the laws will not apply to “professional qualifications awarded by foreign educational institutions” in subjects such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Law, and Architecture. Guidelines were also provided for educational qualifications from schools affiliated with a foreign board, as well as any degree obtained from an overseas campus.

At a time when Indian universities are working with institutions abroad to give dual or joint degrees, international universities are collaborating with Indian universities to set up campuses at GIFT City in Gujarat.

According to the UGC, a degree from a foreign higher educational institution will be accepted and awarded equivalent only if the student physically visits an institute approved by the home nation. It further stated that the entry-level requirements for admission to the programme must be comparable to those of a related programme in India.

According to the draft rules, the “similarity” of admission criteria will be decided by a standing committee formed for the purpose based on the similarity of the minimum duration of the programme in India and the foreign nation, minimum credit requirements, and evaluation processes. “Credits in different categories of courses may be examined and similarity established (such as basic background courses, disciplinary core courses, disciplinary elective courses, cross-disciplinary courses, laboratory courses, and so on),” the guidelines state, “so that the equivalence also reflects the similarity in ‘flavour’ of offerings in India and abroad.”

While programmes completed under a franchise arrangement will not be recognised, those finished in offshore campuses will be recognised if they meet the accreditation requirements in both their country of location and their individual home countries.

Any education obtained from schools associated with foreign boards and providing a foreign system of education overseas would be recognised and granted equivalence only if it was obtained on a regular basis.

The Drafting guidelines are available for feedback until September 16.

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