MG University gets UGC nod for opening offshore campus in Qatar

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has allowed the Kottayam-based Mahatma Gandhi University to open an offshore campus in Qatar. The offshore campus is likely to offer courses in sciences and humanities subjects.

It was in last November that the Qatar government had approached the MG University through the Indian embassy. The Qatar government would bear the expenses of the construction and the maintenance of the campus.

"We would discuss with the Qatar government on the courses and the number of teachers," MG University officials said.

Among India universities only Savitribai Phule University, Pune, has an offshore campus in a foreign country. However, only science subjects are offered at the offshore campus of the Pune-based university.

The UGC and the state governments forbid the universities from opening campuses outside their jurisdiction.

Currently, MG University has campuses at Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts in Kerala. Only colleges in these districts are under its jurisdiction.

The MG University syndicate had appointed an expert committee headed by Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr CT Aravindakumar to prepare guidelines regarding the opening of the offshore campus. The University then submitted applications to the state government and also to the Union ministries of education, external affairs and home affairs.

The UGC agreed after the various central ministries and the state government had approved the application. However, the UGC has informed that it wouldn’t provide financial assistance to open the campus.

The National Education Policy (NEP) – 2020 envisages the internationalisation of India's higher education system. Accordingly, more Indian higher education institutions are expected to launch overseas campuses.

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