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UGC Directs Indian Universities to Reserve Up to 25% Additional Seats for International Students

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued guidelines instructing Indian higher education institutions (HEIs) to allocate extra seats for international students in undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) programs. The move, initiated to bolster the global appeal of Indian educational establishments, follows guidelines formulated in September 2022.

Supernumerary seats, seats beyond the approved capacity of an institution, are designated to facilitate the inclusion of international students in Indian HEIs. According to the UGC directive, HEIs can reserve up to 25% more seats for international students, subject to specific criteria and regulations from regulatory bodies. These criteria include considerations of infrastructure and faculty capabilities.

The additional seats are not applicable to international students participating in exchange programs or covered under Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) between institutions or governments. HEIs are required to distribute these extra seats proportionally across all departments and academic units.

Supernumerary seats are exclusively reserved for international students and should only be filled if occupied. Professional and technical programs’ respective statutory authorities will oversee the management of these seats, while PhD seats will be regulated under UGC guidelines.

Furthermore, the UGC has mandated the establishment of an ‘Office for International Students’ in all relevant institutions. This office will maintain detailed records of international students, including their countries of origin, programs of study, and duration, aiming to create a conducive environment to attract more international students to India and elevate its stature as a global education destination.