India's new regulations for foreign institutions raise questions at home and overseas

August 21, 2012

India's plan to more closely regulate the many dual- and joint-degree programs its universities have created with foreign partners has been met at home with a mix of anxiety, annoyance, confusion, and even ridicule. A major point of confusion stems from the overlapping authority of India's 2 dozen PSE regulators. Many institutions that offer joint programs are overseen not by the University Grants Commission, which is issuing the new regulations, but by the All India Council for Technical Education, which regulates programs such as management and engineering. Moreover, some education officials note their institutions offer not degrees but diplomas, which are different things in India. Foreign-university officials are also unclear about the effect of the new restrictions, which include allowing only institutions ranked in the top 500 worldwide to partner with Indian universities. Several experts say that rankings are the wrong way to evaluate the quality of programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)