UGC Changes Distance Learning Rules, Aims at Enrolling More Foreign Students

college admissionsEducation NewsUGCThe University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued new guidelines for open and distance learning students. With the introduction of the latest regulations, foreign students can now easily enroll themselves in UGC-recognised online courses through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). “Any national identity with a photograph of their country of residence shall also be acceptable for authentication,” said UGC.

Under the 2020 regulations, only a passport was considered valid identification for international students, said M Jagadesh Kumar, the chairperson of the UGC. According to Kumar, the MEA noticed that many applications were being rejected due to either the submission of expired passports or the failure to submit passports. Therefore, the MEA requested the UGC to consider any national identity card with a photograph and amend the rule which requires a passport in order to gain admission to an Indian varsity.

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The UGC (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Second Amendment Regulations, 2022 got published in the official gazette on July 18. “Provided that for admission of foreign or international learners through the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, in UGC recognised or entitled online programmes, any national identity with a photograph of their country of residence shall also be acceptable for authentication,” reads the notification shared by the education commission.

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Kumar further stated that the amendment will only apply to students who enroll in UGC platforms through MEA. “This Amendment is expected to improve the number of enrolments of the International learners in online programmes,” he added.

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Under the Center’s e-VidyaBharati (tele-education) project, the MEA provides scholarships to African students. Over the course of five years, the project aims to provide at least 15,000 scholarships to African students. The UGC-accredited online programmes are available on the e-VidyaBharati Portal, and students can seek admissions via MEA.

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