ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

For the Elites

What kind of university system does the government propose by allowing foreign universities?

Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal claims that the establishment of foreign universities in India with degree-granting powers will bring about a major change in the higher education sector. Perhaps, but of what kind? The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill has been approved by the union cabinet and is due to be tabled in Parliament soon. Foreign direct investment (100%) in education in the automatic route has been allowed since 2000; the proposed legislation will also enable such institutions to confer degrees and diplomas in the country.

The bill has been drafted under the paradigm that higher education is a commodity, an idea set out in 2005 in a consultation note of the commerce ministry of the first United Progressive Alliance government. That note had argued for closing the gap between what is required by the market and what is produced in institutions of higher education through the introduction of foreign education providers. The new bill – of which only a draft is in circulation – aims to work in that direction, lays down the conditions for entry and proposes a regulatory environment for overseeing such providers. But will the entry of foreign universities into India lead to an increase in access to higher education and, if so, of what kind? And perhaps most important, what impact will this have on the Indian state-run university system, where the overwhelming majority of college-going students will continue to have to obtain their education?

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 59

(Readers in India)

$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.