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University grants commission (UGC): No Indian University, College to promote admissions abroad

The directive doesn't approve of the admission campaigns abroad by the universities if Indian missions do not have any knowledge of such ...

In a move that could prove detrimental in spreading the wings of Indian higher education in Global education market, University Grants Commission (UGC) has made it mandatory  for all the Universities to obtain permission from MHRD and UGC  before moving ahead in promotional campaigns abroad.  Not only this, any promotional activity abroad without the explicit knowledge/advice of local Indian Embassy/High Commission is not permitted.

Secretary UGC, Prof (Dr) Jaspal S Sandhu issued such directive on behalf of the regulator of Indian Universities vide letter on September 17, 2014 bearing D.O. No.   F-1-16/2014(CPP-II) to all the Vice Chancellors of Universities in the country. 

3 major concerns of UGC directive

Indian Mission in dark

The directive doesn’t approve of the admission campaigns abroad by the universities if Indian missions do not have any knowledge of such campaigns. The letter says “It has come to the notice of the commission that some universities engage directly or through the agents appointed by them, with the citizen of foreign countries and try to entice them for admission in various courses offered by them.  The Indian missions abroad are kept in the dark in the entire process of admission.”

University/college reputation at stake!

UGC finds that these campaigns by Universities however reputed they may be, cause harm and spoil image of Indian Universities offering admission by organizing such promotional activities. The directive specifically states “Such activities not only cause great harm to the image of Indian universities and institutions but also potentially pose a threat to national security”.

Threat to National Secutiry

Despite the fact that students seeking admission to higher education in other countries have to go through transparent and stringent  process like verification of antecedents, VISA formalities, these admission promotional campaigns remain a security threat in view of UGC.

It is probably due to the fact that UGC has not been able to control the ‘fly-by-night operators’. But this may not be the fault of good institutions. Government agencies, education regulators in their operational laxity and lack of supervision on one pretext or the other lose control of such operators and then target all the good B schools while these ‘flybynight’ operators posing security threat, are no where seen.

Now take Nod from various quarters: Exercise may take months

To check this purported security threat, Universities will need a nod from 3 different quarters.

Consult Indian Mission aborad

 UGC further directs the universities “It is therefore directed that no promotional activity should be undertaken by any University or affiliated college without the explicit knowledge/advice of local Indian Embassy/High Commission.” Now neither the University nor any college affiliated to the university will be allowed to organize any promotional campaign abroad without consulting the local Indian mission.  So from now on No university whether Government or Private will have no liberty to admission promotional activities abroad, unless the directive is followed.

Obtain permission from MHRD & UGC

According to UGC directive ”It is also mandatory for any higher educational institution, planning any activities promotional or otherwise, to avail prior approval of MHRD & UGC”  So universities have to obtain prior permission from the Ministry of Human Resource & Development as well as from University Grants Commission before moving ahead with the promotional activity abroad.  How much time it will take could be anybody’s guess.

Else face consequences

In case the directive is not meticulously followed UGC warns “failing which disciplinary action will be taken against contravening institutions.”   Universities and affiliated colleges now are left with no alternative but to follow the regulator’s directive else face action against them.

Road ahead is difficult

The directive would prove a retrograde step given the fact that Indian higher education is already in peril on international standards. A few  Universities and reputed colleges in India, trying to carve a niche in Global higher Education will get a set- back even before they could begin campaigning in a big way.

While the Universities and colleges from abroad are planning to further spread their wings to attract Indian student community searching for higher education in their country,  Indian higher education policies have not been providing a conducive environment for Globalization of higher Education. For example MBA education in India is gasping for survival on Global standards. International Accreditations are negligible. Top B schools affiliated to various Universities in the country will now find more hurdles and may not so liberally plan to do well to prove themselves on Global standards.

Now FMS Delhi, NMIMS Mumbai, IIFT Delhi which is famous for its MBA (International Business) and attract more and more students from abroad will have to think twice before planning to promote admission to any MBA programme abroad.

Source : MBAUniverse




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