The NDA government has tasked the Niti Ayog to prepare a framework to allow foreign universities to set up campuses in India, but leading British universities such as Oxford and Cambridge have no plans to do so.
The idea to open campuses in India was first discussed in British universities when India's previous Manmohan Singh government approved the Foreign Education Institution (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010, which did not progress further for various reasons.
The latest initiative to revive the plan has been noted, but Oxford and Cambridge universities told Hindustan Times on Monday that they had no plans to set up brick-and-mortar campuses in India.
Many British universities offer courses in India and elsewhere through collaborative links with local institutions, but are reluctant to open full campuses to avoid risk to reputation and lack of quality control.
A Cambridge university spokesperson: said: “The government of India is developing and implementing a major strategy dramatically to increase the scope, depth and capacity of Indian higher education. It is thus timely for the university to take stock and to consider how to build on these foundations to develop new ways in which we work with Indian counterparts in academia, industry and government to develop and strengthen the country’s higher education provision, research capacity and impact.”
He added: “While there are no plans to open up a Cambridge University campus in India, we note the alignment between Cambridge’s multi-disciplinary strengths and Indian academia and we are exploring appropriate ways to scale up our collaborations and partnership, for that will be the basis of anything we do.”
An Oxford university spokesperson said: “Oxford University has no plans in the foreseeable future to offer full degree courses anywhere other than Oxford itself and so has no plans to establish an overseas campus. However, Oxford conducts research and some non-degree teaching in many countries of the world, and India is a very important country for us. We have many links with India already and are keen to continue to develop our involvement in the country.”
However, the University of Warwick did not comment on any future plans for India, but said that earlier this year it had committed to create a campus in California. The University of Nottingham is one of few British universities with campuses in China and Malaysia.
There has been a major drop in the number of Indian students coming to Britain in recent years, but while there has been much concern in universities on this, the David Cameron government has rejected appeals from stakeholders to bring back the post-study work visa that is considered a major dampener to self-financing Indian students.