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May 2012
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Foreign Educational institution bill to be a reality in India

The Foreign Educational Institution Bill sets the Regulation of Entry & Operations, Maintenance of Quality & Prevention of Commercialization of Foreign Institutions in India. Bill will allow the foreign universities to invest at least 51% of the total capital expenditure needed to establish the institute in India.
Before the bill had been passed, foreign universities may possibly provide degree courses within India together with local universities. Once the bill has been passed, foreign universities will be able to offer independent degrees, without tie up with any local university. This kind of institutes is going to be granted deemed university position under Section 3 of the Universities Grants Commission (UGC) Act, under 1956. This can be a landmark that will enhance choices, improve competition as well as standard quality
The foreign institutions will be allowed to set their own fees, like other private institutions; this should enable students who want to get the level of teaching in these institutions to get this cheaper by joining the India campus rather than going abroad.
Advantages of the bill for Indian Educational Sector :
• The Bill will not only bring back investment in the education sector, but also draw in foreign students
• It will also help in stopping Indians who go to study abroad and then settle over there only.
• The existing institutes will need to improve the quality of education to be able to compete with the universities who come here. It is good for students, as they will get quality education over here and they don’t have to go abroad and they can get admission at a lower cost
• More than 250,000 students from India are studying in various universities outside India. This Bill will save millions of dollars of Indian students, as they will be able to study in foreign universities while staying in India
• There is a huge gap in the demand and supply in higher education sector and foreign universities will reduce some gap. it will also give students a choice and also expand their higher education offerings in India
• Malpractices like capitation fee exist because of the not-for-profit concept in higher education. Increasing private investments in higher education can produce greater benefits, including enhanced access to higher education and improvement in quality, with the increased competition.

Disadvantages of the bill for the Indian Education Sector:

• Higher education within India is actually over-regulated and also under-governed. Furthermore, well-established foreign universities/institutions might not like this status of the ‘deemed university’ within India and for that reason might think about off-shore campus within India as a dilution of high quality and something that may lower their own brand image.
• There is fear by other Indian colleges (including the premiere ones) that if some of the more prominent institutions come to India, then they will become an attractive hunting ground for professors at many of these local institutes who would look at joining these new institutes as they will provide higher salary.
• Good world renowned universities, in the long run, could give competition to Indian universities with regard to their best practices.
• Indian education system is based on providing opportunities to weaker sections of the society like SC, ST and OBC candidates as 80 percent of India belongs to this section. If these foreign universities operate on pattern of private universities they won’t like to compromise on quality of merit and more than likely they would never allow less meritorious students to enter their institutions irrespective of weak or strong family background of the admission seeker. This will be disadvantage to the weaker sections.

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