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Study in India

Country flag: India

Rich in culture, with a rapidly growing economy, studying in India offers lots of opportunities

The Indian education system

Higher education institutions in India are divided into:

  • Central Universities - established by a central government through an act of parliament;
  • State Universities - established by a province or state government;
  • State Private Universities - established through a central or state government by a sponsoring body;
  • Deemed Universities - high performing institutions that have been declared as having a status equal to universities by central government.
  • Institutes of National Importance - established by acts of parliament and funded by the central government, including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM).

In total, there are more than 300 universities in India. The main regulatory body in charge of supervising all institutions in the country is the Indian University Grants Commission .

India has a number of institutions in the QS World University Rankings , including the Indian Institute of Technology, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.

Information about Indian universities can be accessed - depending on their geographic region and state - at the National Network of Education .

Entry requirements

Each institution has its own entry requirements and education standards.

However, requirements for postgraduate are mostly dependent on the subject you wish to study, like in the UK. For the most part, you will need a relevant undergraduate degree to get accepted onto a postgraduate course.

Find out if your qualifications are recognised in India at the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) .

The autonomy of Indian institutions means you will have to enquire directly and individually to find out about specific entry requirements. For admissions into Indian institutions, international students must apply for study through the 'single window agency', Educational Consultants India Limited (EdCIL) .

Here you can download the required documents for UK nationals applying to study in India, namely the visa and application forms.

Course fees

The cost of study in India will vary considerably with each course and institution. Generally, universities offer education at a fraction of the cost of a UK university education. 

While most undergraduate courses, including accommodation, costs anywhere from £800-£3,500 per year, the cost of postgraduate study differs across the board. 

A postgraduate programme at North Eastern Hill University (a central university) for a student from a developed country costs £900 for an MA or PhD in social sciences and humanities. An MA or PhD in a science subject costs £1,300.

At the University of Lucknow (state university), an advance diploma in French costs £50 for a one year programme while the postgraduate diploma in democracy and governance costs £215 for the same period.

The University of Delhi (central university) charges internationals a foreign student registration fee of around £360 for postgraduate study leading to research work. They also have to pay £70 each year to the department on top of any necessary course fees. Medicine courses are the most expensive and can cost upwards of £9,000.

You may have to pay a registration fee when applying for courses. To register for a PhD at the University of Calcutta you must pay 100 Indian Rupee (Rs) or £1.

Living costs

As accommodation is often included in the price of the course, living costs are cheap compared to the UK. International students can live comfortably on £70-£100 per month for food and expenses.

Funding to study in India

Indian universities do not offer grants and scholarships to students from the UK.

Students of other nationalities can find out more about scholarships and funding options at the National Portal of India - Schemes, Awards and Loans.

Indian exchanges and placements 

Undergraduate UK students have the opportunity to learn about India, its history, culture, industry and what it's like to study and work there, on a four-week placement through the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) .

Some UK universities may have exchange programmes with universities in India. Ask at your international office as to whether they have links with Indian universities.

IAESTE offers science, engineering and technology students the chance to embark on 12-week paid placements in the summer and for longer periods at other times of the year. Find out more at IAESTE UK .

Student visas

To obtain a student visa you must have an unconditional offer from an Indian education institution. If your visa application is successful, you will then be issued a visa either for the length of your studies or for a maximum of five years.

More information on visas, including sample application forms, can be found at Educational Consultants India Limited (Ed.CIL) - Downloads .


Further information

Written by Editor, Graduate Prospects
April 2013

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