All higher education institutions in India may soon appoint a special officer to help foreign students for visa related difficulties.
In the wake of large inflow of foreign students coming to India for education, non-availability of a designated person to be contacted by foreigners’ regional registration offices (FRROs)/foreigners’ registration offices (FROs) at the educational institutes, while processing service applications, is leading to unnecessary delays, difficulties and unintentional violations of visa norms by the foreigners causing undue harassment of foreign students.
Addressing the problem of foreign students, Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, Chairman, UGC, said, “Looking into this, we have written to all the higher educational institutions to appoint compliance officers to coordinate with FRROs and FROs for ascertaining facts in respect of foreign students during grant of various services like visa registration, visa extension, exit permit etc. along with their attendance, academic performance and other academic records.”
UGC has also asked the HEIs to disseminate this information to all the colleges and institutes affiliated to the Universities. Earlier, UGC had already written to HEIs to establish an Office for International Affairs. Many HEIs have already established this office. A staff member from this office can be designated as the compliance officer to coordinate with FRROs and FROs.
Earlier, UGC had made it clear that all those international students seeking admission through Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in University Grants Commission (UGC) recognized/entitled online programmes will not need passport as compulsory proof of identification.
“The Second Amendment Regulations, 2022 has changed the compulsory identifier ‘Passport’ for international students to ‘any national Identity with photograph’ of country of residence for the admissions through MEA in UGC recognised/entitled online programmes,” Kumar said.
This important amendment was done a couple of months back. The amendment is for the Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes Regulation to promote more and more international students to join Indian Universities’ online programmes without difficulty through MEA driven projects in UGC recognised/entitled online programmes, Kumar said.