Australian, NRI and OCI students can now apply for India’s undergraduate entrance examination

India was hosting over 47,000 overseas students in 2019 and is aiming increase this number to 200,000 by 2023.

In a positive step, India’s University Grants Commission (UGC) has allowed foreign candidates, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) candidates to apply for Common University Entrance Test-Undergraduate (CUET-UG) 2023.

In a series of tweets, UGC Chairman Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar explained the process. He said:

“Foreign candidates, NRI, OCI candidates can also apply for CUET-UG 2023 and they can appear in any of the above-mentioned cities outside India. However, all foreign candidates, NRI, OCI candidates are advised to visit website of the university, institution or organisation where admission is sought and go through their relevant guidelines in this regard and be guided accordingly.”

All Central universities in India allow UG admission only through the CUET. Admissions to all Undergraduate programmes at Delhi University will be based on the scores obtained in CUET (UG) 2023, except for admissions to the School of Open Learning (SOL), Non-Collegiate Women’s Education Board (NCWEB) and Foreign Nationals.

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To appear for this examination, candidates need to select nationality in the dropdown, either Indian, OCI, NRI or Foreign in the online application form of CUET-UG 2023.

Further, to facilitate the Foreign, OCI and NRI candidates, CUET-UG 2023 will also be conducted in 24 cities outside India as per details given on CUET website.

Prof. Kumar adds that the university, organisation, or institution may have different policies regarding admission for Foreign, NRI and OCI candidates.

“These candidates are required to check the policies regarding quota, category, relaxation, reservations, qualification, subject combinations, preferences etc of the respective institution website.”

UGC has also informed all the universities through ‘Guidelines for Admission and Supernumerary seats of International Students in Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programmes in Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) in India’ dated September 30, 2022 that HEIs may adopt a transparent admission process for admitting the international students.

In 2022, Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s Education Minister co-chaired the 6th meeting of the Australia-India Education Council with the Higher Education Minister of Australia Jason Clare and pushed for more two-way engagement.

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At present, the majority of foreign students coming to India enroll for undergraduate programmes, followed by postgraduate and then PhD, data shows.

There are 25 per cent supernumerary seats for foreign nationals in UG and PG programmes. In PhD programme, each faculty member can take two additional students over and above the limit prescribed by the UGC.

In 2022, the number of foreign students coming to India for UG/PG studies has surged by nearly 42 per cent. India was hosting over 47,000 overseas students in 2019 and is aiming increase this number to 200,000 by 2023.

In 2019-20, of the total foreign students in India, 9,503 were enrolled in Bachelor of Technology programmes, followed by 3,967 in Bachelor of Science and 3,290 in Bachelor of Business Administration. 

The candidates are also advised to be in touch with the NTA website(s) https://nta.ac.in and https://cuet.samarth.ac.in for the latest updates regarding the exam.