Higher education institutions (HEIs) across the country will now be allowed to create up to 25 per cent supernumerary seats for foreign students and will have to adopt a transparent admission process for them, the University Grants Commission (UGC) said on Friday.
The draft “Guidelines for Admission and Supernumerary seats of International Students in Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programmes in Higher Educational Institutions in India” were put in public domain last month for seeking feedback and have been notified now. “HEIs may create up to 25 per cent supernumerary seats for international students, over and above of their total sanctioned enrolment for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. The decision regarding supernumerary seats has to be carried out by the concerned higher educational institutions as per specific guidelines and regulations issued by the regulatory bodies considering the infrastructure, faculty and other requirements,” the guidelines said.
“Indian HEIs may admit international students based on the equivalence of entry qualification held by them. The equivalence is to be determined by the UGC or any other body recognised by UGC for such purpose or the concerned regulatory bodies of the country. HEIs may adopt a transparent admission process for admitting the international students,” the guidelines said.
Explaining the admission criteria for admitting foreign students, UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar said the universities will be free to choose their admission policy. “Universities are free to choose the admission policy for foreign students. UGC has not stipulated any such entrance examination for admitting foreign students,” Mr Kumar told PTI. The UGC has clarified that the 25 per cent of the supernumerary seats for international students will not include the international students under exchange programmes or/and through memorandum of understanding (MoU) between institutions or between the government of India and other countries.
“Depending on the availability of infrastructure and qualified faculty, efforts should be made to distribute these 25 per cent seats among all departments, schools, centres or any other academic unit of the higher educational institution. wherever possible. The supernumerary seats shall be exclusively meant for the international students both in the undergraduate and post-graduate programmes. “A seat remained unfilled in the supernumerary category, shall not be allocated to anyone other than an international student. International students in this context shall be defined as the one who shall possess a foreign passport,” the guidelines read.
The provision of creating supernumerary seats for international students should be formalized by way of approval of statutory body/bodies of the HEIs in accordance with the guidelines/regulations issued by the regulatory bodies from time to time. The supernumerary seats in professional and technical institutes shall be governed by the respective statutory bodies.
“Supernumerary seats for Ph.D. programmes shall be governed by the regulations notified by the UGC from time to time in this regard. All HEIs shall have an ‘Office for International Students’. Year-wise details like country, number, programme/subject, duration etc, regarding the international students in the HEI be maintained by it and be made available on their website. “All details regarding number of seats available for international students in each programme, fee prescribed for the same, admission process, eligibility conditions etc. shall be made available on the website of the HEI,” the guidelines read.