Education & Beyond

List of Foreign Universities in India: A Comprehensive Guide

foreign universities in india

Did you know that our ancient universities, namely Nalanda (400-1200 CE) and Takshashila (700-400 BCE) comprised students from countries like Korea, Japan, China, Persia, and others? They primarily focused on achieving higher learning in various fields such as religion, mathematics, medicine, astronomy, philosophy, etc. While India has been accessible to international countries for higher education, it is time that we invite foreign universities to educate our students.

Initially, the idea of tying up with foreign universities was put forward in 1995 and renewed in 2003 and 2010. However, it did not take place because the majority of the Parliament did not support it. However, as a response to the NEP-20 proposition of internalizing Indian higher learning, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has finally decided to implement the proposal within a prescribed legislative framework. 

Keep reading to know more about how the policy of setting up foreign universities in India will favour students and boost the overall economy as well.

List of Foreign Universities in India

The UGC has been getting in touch with foreign universities for partnerships and several of the foreign universities have already collaborated. Both private and public universities in India have stepped forward to tie up with foreign universities. Are you wondering which foreign universities have campuses in our country? If yes, here is an overview of the list of Indian universities’ tie-ups with foreign universities and their courses. 

IIT KanpurKanpur
Indian Institute of ScienceBangalore, Karnataka
Ashoka University Sonipat, Haryana
Shiv Nadar UniversityGoutam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh
Pondicherry University Pondicherry 
BML Munjal UniversityGurgaon, Haryana
Indian School of BusinessHyderabad, Telangana
Chitkara UniversityChandigarh 

1. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

This institution has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of California in Santa Cruz. The collaboration is expected to pave the way for students and faculty members and offer scope to students and faculty members through exchange programs, symposiums, and joint publications.

2. Indian Institute of Science

The educational institution has signed agreements and MoUs with 120 foreign universities. It has partnered with the University of Melbourne, the University of Adelaide, and Nagasaki University, to name a few. 

3. Ashoka University

This university has established partnerships with Yale University, the University of Cambridge, and the University of British Columbia. 

4. Shiv Nadar University

This higher educational institution also has several collaborations with foreign institutes such as The National Yunlin University of Science and Technology in Taiwan, the Mondragon University in Spain, and the Babson College in the USA. This joint initiative has contributed to the expansion of horizons for students belonging to both universities. 

5. Pondicherry University

The University of Pondicherry has established partnerships with more than 30 international institutions. They give rise to fantastic student exchange programs, teaching or research or conference collaborations, and teaching staff mobility. 

6. BML Munjal University

This university has collaborated with reputed institutions such as UC, Berkeley, London School of Economics & Political Science, Imperial College London, University of Warwick, and so on. 

7. Indian School of Business (ISB)

It has partnered with institutions in countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, Chile, South Korea, etc. 

8. Chitkara University

Chitkara University has one of the highest numbers of collaborations (200+) with foreign colleges. It gives its students access to top-notch educational facilities as well as hands-on learning opportunities while collaborating with foreign universities for global exposure through summer programs, semester exchange programs, etc. 

Importance of Foreign Universities in India

Importance of Foreign Universities in India

Education reforms

The decision to allow foreign universities to set up operations in the country will boost education reforms and will go a long way to improving the quality of education and the application of the curriculum. 

Global exposures

With this international academic tie-up, students will receive global exposure while interacting and exchanging ideas with international educators and learners. The setting up of foreign universities in India would undoubtedly be a game-changing decision because it will support learners to opt for collaborative research or other academic activities in foreign institutions. 

Develop multicultural mindset

It will lead to the development of a broad outlook based on a multicultural mindset. This collaboration will not only benefit the students but also bring several advantages for both institutions. Students studying in these foreign universities can gain the added benefit of securing employment opportunities in foreign companies. 

What’s more? It is a brilliant move for Indian education and the accommodation sector to create many opportunities in the long run too. With the booming of India’s startup sector as well as various other industries, a consistent rise in new ideas and ventures has cropped up. It is hoped that the foreign universities in India will attract a higher pool of international students for exposure that the world’s most populous country can present.

Challenges Faced by Foreign Universities in India

Challenges Faced by Foreign Universities in India

Dependency on certain clauses

An international university in India will be subject to a clause underlining that it will be granted permission to set up its campus for ten years. The following renewal will be undertaken after the fulfilment of the necessary conditions of the foreign universities in India (UGC). Once the ‘Letter of Intent’ receives approval, the FHEI will begin establishing its Indian campus and infrastructure within two years. 

Feasibility of taking physical classes

Since affordable high-quality education and generous scholarships to financially unstable students are the underpinnings of the Indian education policy, foreign universities in India will have to take full-time physical classes within a reasonable and transparent fee structure. In addition, a foreign faculty member appointed to teach on the Indian campus will have to live in India rather than only visit here to teach. 

Operational challenge

Apart from the issue of complying with the regulations of the governing country, faculty recruitment and retention, cultural contextualization of academics,  stakeholder engagement, and consequently student experience may pose challenges. 

No scope of autonomous operations

Another potential challenge is that these universities would not be allowed to operate autonomously altogether. They would not be able to offer any program jeopardizing national interest or the standards of higher education in our country. 

In other words, foreign universities that put India’s requirements and interests first will succeed in achieving a long-term relationship with the country. So, even if international universities set up a primary base in our country, they will require considerable time to equip themselves, adjust to India’s policies, and establish a similar ecosystem as prevalent in their native campus. Also, UGC’s 10-year window is quite small for universities with a long-term objective to achieve their targets properly. 

Now, let us wait and see if setting up campuses of foreign universities in India proves to be a smart move. 

Future Prospects of Foreign Universities in India

The development of foreign colleges in India has a huge potential for different growth prospects. They are as follows:

  • No outflow of Indian wealth
  • No brain drain
  • Increase in India’s Gross Enrollment Ratio
  • Increased understanding and cultural exchange between India and other countries
  • Become more competitive in the fields of research and education globally
  • Display India’s strong potential and improve its brand value

How to Choose the Right Foreign University in India

With a host of international campuses being launched in India, you have to choose carefully. If you are confused, you can always go through the UGC India-approved foreign universities list. 

Here we have provided some suggestions to help you pick the right university. 

  1. After choosing the specific discipline, you can check the rankings of the international university and form an idea of their educational performance and teaching environment. 
  2. Consider your budget and evaluate whether the specific university is the right one for you. 
  3. Another significant consideration is the location, environment, safety, and transport facilities that will impact your education as well as daily life. 
  4. Check whether the chosen university offers opportunities for professional growth in terms of employment. 
  5. You can find out what others in similar positions have experienced. 
  6. Try comparing various universities to get the best knowledge of which university would fit you. 


It is expected that this new academic collaboration will add a unique international flavour to the education system in India. Without a doubt, they will help and guide you to choose an ideal career path. As Neeti Sethi, Dean, School of Liberal Arts, Chitkara University mentions, it will “initiate overall change, with pedagogy, curriculum, teacher training, etc., to enrich our students intellectually by changing their style of learning.” 

FAQs on Foreign Universities in India

Q1. Is setting up international colleges in India a practical decision?

Ans. With an objective to enable students to access famous Foreign Higher education Institutions (FHEI), academic collaboration seems a feasible option so far. However, it is yet to be established if India can counter the economic and cultural challenges posed by this tie-up. In other words, the success of this move will primarily depend on how well it is planned and executed. 

Q2. How to apply for foreign universities with tie-ups?

Ans. Applying to a foreign college with a tie-up in India is similar to getting into other universities. You have to qualify for the entrance test or just fulfill the eligibility criteria of the respective institutions. 

Q3. What are the concerns associated with the launching of foreign universities in India?

Ans. One of the primary concerns is whether an FHEI will be able to offer the same level of services as prevails in their main campus. Also, they will have to comply with different regulations and follow norms on par with other autonomous institutes in India. 

Q4. Is India ready to welcome foreign universities?

Ans. This move displays the Indian government opting for a pre-globalization stand at a time when the world is facing several uncertainties. So, they are welcoming the entrance of the leading foreign universities to set up operations in the country.

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