As the second-largest democracy and a fast-growing economy, it’s unsurprising that India is seeing rapid improvements in higher education. India is traditionally known to be a country that sends international students, but in the past decade, the country has been the one receiving nearly 30,000 international students every year. From serious engineering education to colorful cultural immersions, the country has a lot to offer to international students. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in India for international students.

Top Universities in India for International Students

1. Indian Institute of Science (IISc)

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the best university in India for international students, is a public research university in Bangalore. It was founded in 1909 by Jamsetji Tata, regarded as the “Father of Indian Industry”, to advance science and technology in the country. Today, the IISc is the leading higher education institution in the country, especially in research. Over 70 percent of the student body are research students conducting studies in space science, atmospheric science, material science, and genetic engineering, among others.

The IISc, comprising six main departments, is spread out over a 400-acre campus. Interestingly, it is a haven for exotic and indigenous plants. It also includes a gymnasium and sports complex, a football and cricket ground, several dormitories, and a multi-cuisine restaurant that international students will surely enjoy.

2. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay)

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay is one of the top technical universities in India and the world. This top university in India was established in 1958 with assistance from UNESCO and the Soviet Union. Since then, the institution has developed facilities for engineering programs, including Civil, Chemical, Electrical, Mechanical, Physics, Aerospace, and other close disciplines. The IIT Bombay also offers courses in pure sciences, design, management, and humanities.

The IIT Bombay is located in Powai, a busy metropolis in India, but is near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park which provides significant greenery on the campus and occasional wildlife. Aside from these scenic views, students also enjoy student residences, a dedicated sports center, and other recreational facilities.

3. Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi)

The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi is one of the pioneer IITs in India and is declared as an Institute of National Importance. It offers a Bachelor’s in Technology in nine subject areas, including industrial engineering, engineering physics, and textile technology, among others. There are also dual degrees B.Tech-M.Tech programs, as well as postgraduate degree programs under several departments.

The IIT Delhi campus is situated in the affluent Hauz Khas, where it spans 325 acres. Students will feel they are within an independent city for the campus is complete with roads, residential complexes, sports facilities, and gardens, in addition to the expansive academic zones.

4. Indian Institute of Technology Ropar (IIT Ropar)

The Indian Institute of Technology Ropar is an IIT autonomous branch located in Rupnagar, Punjab, India. This top university in India offers degree programs in engineering and science, while its research work strongly focuses on physics, renewable energy, and artificial intelligence. Constituting eleven departments in the STEM field and humanities, the IIT Ropar also manages the Technology Innovation Hub that studies agriculture and eco-friendly farming practices.

The IIT Ropar’s environmental initiatives are related to its location, for the city of Rupnagar is close to diverse ecological habitats. In this regard, the IIT Ropar maintains strong links with industry partners for important contributions.

5. University of Delhi (Delhi University / DU)

The University of Delhi, a top university in India, is a collegiate public university and the largest higher education institution in India. It comprises 16 faculties in almost all fields of knowledge, and there’s even a faculty of Open Learning for distance education. The university hosts several centers and institutes where students and faculty can expand their academic experience. Notable centers include an Innovation Centre, a School of Journalism, and a Women’s Studies Development Centre.

Delhi University has received recognition locally and internationally. It has been awarded the status of Centre of Advanced Studies for geology, zoology, chemistry, sociology, and history. World university rankings recognize DU as one of the best in Asia as well.

6. Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) was founded in 1945 and conducts research in physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, computer science, and science education. Its main campus is in Mumbai and has additional campuses in Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.

TIFR only offers master’s and doctorate degrees. Many local and international students consider this institution for their doctorate degrees as they pursue their academic careers in India and globally. TIFR has schools in Chemical Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Biological Sciences, Computer Sciences, and Science Education. They aim to build state-of-the-art facilities and conduct world-renowned research in these fields.

7. Panjab University

Panjab University is one of the oldest universities in India, with its beginnings tracing back to Lahore in 1882. Its faculties include Art, Science, Law, Education, Fine Arts, Languages, Engineering and Technology, Business Management and Commerce, Medical Sciences, Animal Husbandry, and Agriculture, and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Dairying. Additionally, Panjab University has the University School of Open Learning, with over 20 courses available for distance learners.

Panjab University has a consistent position in national rankings. For the past years, they received several recognitions and awards for its excellent programs and services. In terms of student services and accessibility, the university has various establishments such as a shopping center, bank, post office, health center, swimming pool, gymnasium, botanic gardens, sports grounds, open-air theater, parks, and more. Its prominent buildings include the Fine Arts Museum, the University Library, and the Student Center.

8. Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Pune

The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Pune (IISER Pune) was established in 2006 and is a prestigious science university in India. IISER Pune offers 5-year integrated master’s programs as well as Ph.D. programs. Students work in state-of-the-art classrooms and research labs in collaboration with world-class faculty. Its departments include Biology, Chemistry, Data Science, Earth and Climate Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, Mathematics, and Physics.

IISER Pune occupies 98 acres in Pashan and neighbors the National Chemical Laboratory, the Panchvati Hills, the Armament Research & Development Establishment, and the Aundh neighborhood. Its campus includes a lecture hall complex, library and research laboratories, and other research and teaching laboratories.IISER Pune is a residential housing with student and faculty housing, a dining hall, and various sports facilities, such as tennis courts, an open stadium, a cricket ground, and more.

9. Manipal Academy of Higher Education

The Manipal Academy of Higher Education has 31 disciplines and over 300 programs. It includes the Faculty of Health Science, the Faculty of Science, Technology and Management, and the Faculty of Humanities, Liberal Arts & Social Sciences. It was founded in 1953 and had over 250 international research collaborations. Today, it is one of the best schools in India.

To provide a higher form of accessibility to students, Manipal Academy of Higher Education has several establishments around the campus. It includes hospitals, libraries, laboratories, sports and fitness facilities, student housing, and an innovation center focusing on multi-disciplinary research. Its restaurant and food courts serve food from all over the world, providing a welcome comfort to its international students.

10. Vellore Institute of Technology

The Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) was founded in 1984 as the Vellore Engineering College and gained its university status in 2001. It is now a leading university in India with students from all around the world. It offers 40 undergraduate, 37 postgraduate, and 13 integrated programs. VIT is ranked one of the top universities in the country and has partnerships with over 300 universities abroad.

VIT’s campus is spread over 372 acres and is equipped with laboratories, auditoriums, and large open outdoor spaces. There are seven academic blocks that give students a reliable place to research and study. It has smart classrooms with high-tech technology to deliver the best education possible and numerous auditoriums and conference rooms. Additionally, there are several sports complexes available for students to improve their physical fitness.

11. Banaras Hindu University

Banaras Hindu University was founded in 1916 in Varanasi. It played a large role in India’s independence movement and is now one of the most prominent universities in the country. It is made up of 3 institutes, 14 faculties, 140 departments, and 4 inter-disciplinary centers. It offers many programs of study, spanning the fields of social science, humanities, technology, science, medicine, fine arts, and performing arts.

Banaras Hindu University boasts many modern amenities, including a hospital, various sports facilities, an auditorium, a printing press, multiple canteens, and a fruit preservation center. It also hosts cultural and religious landmarks, such as the Shri Vishwanath Temple, Bharat Kala Bhawan, and Malviya Bhawan. It has about 15,000 students, including international students from all over the globe.

12. Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee

The Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT Roorkee) is a top university in India for engineering, technology, and science. It offers bachelor’s degrees in 10 disciplines and postgraduate degrees in 55 disciplines. Its 23 academic departments encompass the fields of engineering, architecture and planning, humanities and social science, and management programs.

IIT Roorkee offers student housing, sports teams and facilities, and guest houses for visitors to the university. It hosts facilities such as a bank, hospital post office, and various places of worship. Outside of study, research, and sports, there is plenty for students to do through clubs and groups such as the U.G. Club, the P.G. Club, the Alaknanda Club, the Entrepreneurship Cell, the IEEE Student Branch, and many others.

13. Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur)

The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur) is a public research university in Kanpur. Its departments include engineering, humanities, economics, sciences, management, and interdisciplinary programs. IIT Kanpur prides itself on its strong science and technology research, as well as its interdisciplinary interaction. Its small class sizes allow students to receive a high level of individual attention and feedback from professors.

The campus of IIT Kanpur is spread over 1,110 acres and students enjoy a variety of activities, including sports facilities, clubs, and cultural groups. Its residence halls provide a comfortable living space for students and are located close to the academic facilities. Academic, sporting, and cultural events are held often to enrich students’ lives and give them a break from studying.

14. Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad

The Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) was founded in 2008 and is one of the top engineering schools in India. It is also considered one of the best universities in India as it offers many programs of study in engineering, science, liberal arts, design, and management. It has undergraduate programs in science and engineering and postgraduate programs in science, engineering, liberal arts, and design.

IITH provides comfortable housing, offering a single room for each student. It has more than 100 laboratories conducting advanced research and a library with over 20,000 books. It also has a variety of dining options and offers transportation services for its students and faculty.

15. Aligarh Muslim University

Aligarh Muslim University was founded in 1877 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who wanted Muslims in India to gain greater access to education and become more involved in the public life of the country. It is made up of students from various communities from all over the world. It offers over 300 courses and is one of the top research universities in India. It has faculties of Agricultural Science, Management Studies and Research, Arts, Engineering & Technology, Theology, Medicine, Commerce, Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Unani Medicine, Law, Science, and International Studies.

Aligarh Muslim University offers many extracurricular activities for students, with clubs such as the University Film Club and the Riding Club and a wide variety of sports for men and women, including volleyball, basketball, tennis, hockey, and more. The Students’ Counselling Center offers assistance to students in whatever they may need, and the University Hospital provides medical care to all students.

FAQs about Studying in India

Is India a Good Place for International Students?

India’s higher education system is the second largest in the world with a capacity to enroll over 20 million students. It is best known for engineering schools, such as the Indian Institutes of Technologies – a group of autonomous technical universities across the country. The country also excels in medicine, business administration, and liberal arts, as well as niche courses like yoga and Buddhism.

Most Indian universities teach their courses in English, which can make it easier for foreign nationals to communicate. Aside from this, they are delivered at an affordable cost that guarantees value-for-money education. Tuition fees rarely go over 1,300 USD per year for private universities and 1,000 USD annually for public universities.

India is a melting pot of languages, religions, and cultures and truly agrees with diversity. International students can learn outside of their lecture halls and from the country’s customs and traditions as well. One won’t run out of places to travel, festivals to attend, and cultures to experience in the blend of history and modernity that is India.

Can International Students Work in India While Studying?

Presently, the Indian government does not permit international students to work alongside their studies, with the exemption of Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO). OCIs and PIOs must seek the approval of their university before they take up any job. Other foreign nationals are encouraged to take internships along with their program of study instead.

Nonetheless, the country’s Human Resource Development Ministry has put together proposals for international student work rights beginning in 2019 which will hopefully be granted soon.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Can International Students Stay in India After Graduation?

After graduation, foreign nationals who wish to stay in India can do so by securing a job in their field of study. Since the Indian student visa has no work-related rights, they have to apply for a work visa or employment visa. The permit may be extended on a year-to-year basis and will allow international graduates to stay for up to five years.


We hope that this article on the best Indian universities for international students was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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