1 Italian institute and 1 French institute want to create a campus in India within the framework of the NEP, announces the government of Modi

New Delhi: Minister of State for Education, Subhas Sarkar, told parliament on Monday that a French institute and an Italian institute had expressed interest in establishing campuses in India.

Sarkar was responding to a written question from the Lok Sabha on the interest shown by foreign universities in setting up campuses in the country.

Under the new National Education Policy announced in 2020, the government had allowed foreign institutions to establish campuses in India. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also announced in this year’s Union Budget that the Center would enable the establishment of world-class foreign universities in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT).

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed that the French side has expressed interest in establishing a university campus for higher education courses in India. In addition, Istituto Marangoni (Italy) has expressed interest in the establishment of a fully independent foreign fashion and design institute of higher education in India,” said Sarkar.

While Istituto Marangoni is a private fashion and design school based in Milan, Sarkar did not share any information about the French institute.

“The international campuses will give students from India and neighboring countries exposure to quality education of global standards,” Sarkar added.

This is the first time the government has provided the name of a foreign academy that has expressed interest in opening a campus. A survey of some foreign universities had also shown a lack of enthusiasm about the prospect of opening campuses here.

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Government approval, general acceptance challenges

Between December 2020 and February 2021, a survey was conducted by the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) among the “top universities” in the world, to find out their interest in establishing a campus in India.

Titled “Creating International Campuses,” the survey found few takers for the government’s offer to international institutes to open campuses in India.

According to the survey report, viewed by ThePrint, of the 43 universities from 11 countries that participated, only eight said they were interested in opening campuses in India. Of these, five were from the United States and one from the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

Respondents who said they were “not interested” in setting up a college campus in India said government approvals and fee regulations were an issue.

“Setting up a campus in India is attractive, but comes with many challenges. Above all, there is the general approval of the government and the general acceptance of this by the general public,” reads a response mentioned in the report.

“In India, education is inclusive and should be accessible to all, bearing this in mind that it is difficult to have a university with a higher tuition cost functioning in India without a reaction from society.”

An Education Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity agreed that developing trust in overseas universities is a big challenge and that the fact that government regulations will support them is something they need to believe. . “With the announcement of the city of GIFT and the relaxation of regulations by the government to allow foreign universities, things should improve,” he said.

While announcing the establishment of international institutions in GIFT City in his budget speech, Sitharaman said, “World-class foreign universities and institutions will be allowed in GIFT City to offer courses in financial management, fintech, science , technology, engineering and mathematics free from national regulations except those of the IFSCA (International Financial Services Centers Authority).

(Editing by Poulomi Banerjee)

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