Duke and Virginia tech take steps to open centers in India

Following are excerpts from a report in roanoke.com.

Virginia Tech officials touted the university’s offerings Monday to a delegation from India — the leader of which could help the university open a new campus in the world’s second-most populous country.

With support from Indian company MARG Ltd., Tech has been working for about four years on a plan to build a university near India’s fifth-most-populous city, Chennai.

If approved, the campus would sit on about 30 acres in the state of Tamil Nadu, where a 70,000-square-foot facility would be built and would offer master’s and doctorate programs for about 300 students in engineering and science.

All academic and research functions would be overseen by Tech. Tuition and fees, admissions criteria and degree requirements would be the same in India as in the United States.

"It would be a Virginia Tech degree," Provost Mark McNamee told the delegation.

…In 1999, Tech began offering a master’s degree in information technology in conjunction with the S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research in Mumbai. The university has since established other projects and ties in India. Officials estimate about 500 Tech alumni live in the country’s southern region.

But the plan for an Indian campus is subject to passage of the foreign universities bill winding its way through the Indian Parliament. Some in India worry that allowing foreign universities in the country will increase tuition and decrease quality in the already struggling higher education sector.

Under current law, foreign universities may offer degree programs only in partnership with existing Indian institutions.

The new bill has been championed by India’s Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, who visited Tech on Monday with about a dozen other dignitaries. They were scheduled to meet with Tech President Charles Steger later in the day.

… Estimates for the total cost of the project do not yet exist, he said. But officials expect a capital outlay of $5 million will be required.

The India campus would help Tech compete for more sponsored research contracts, as well as give the university a presence in an economy supported by 1.2 billion people. Only China, with its population of 1.3 billion, is larger.

For India, the bill could help stem the tide of students streaming to American, European and Australian universities. In 2007, a government commission in India urged that the country increase its number of universities from 350 to 1,500 by 2015. Investment by foreign universities is one way to achieve that growth.

… Under the pending bill, Tech could not send revenue from India back to the United States. Likewise, Tech may use none of its state funding to establish the Indian campus, De Datta said.

Sibal has visited other American universities interested in building campuses in India, including Boston University, Georgetown University, Harvard and Yale.

According to De Datta, the Indian Parliament is expected to vote on the foreign universities bill within the next six months.

Following is an excerpt from a report in Times of India.


Virginia Tech has found an Indian partner for these three centres — Centre for Critical, Technical and Advanced Science, Virginia Bio Informatics Centre and Virginia Transport and Technical Institute — that are likely to be operational within a year.

… Virginia Tech has also signed a memorandum of understanding with MARG Swarnabhoomi group. The institution will be called Virginia Tech MARG Swarnabhoomi, India, and it will be the varsity’s first campus outside the US.

Following is an excerpt from a report in sify.com.


US-based Duke University – ranked 14th in the QS World University Rankings – is planning to set up a campus in India. However, the university management is yet to decide on the location. According to sources, it is looking for around 25 acres to set up its campus either in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh or Pune.

"We will start with a business school in the campus that will offer a diploma programme. This is a part of our plans of having a globally dispersed campus. We are looking at China and India and the campus in China is already underway," said Jaivir Singh, advisor to the dean of the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.

The expansion is part of the varsity’s plans of setting up its global campuses in Dubai, Russia, China and India.

Duke university is one of the first international institutes to announce its plans of establishing its India campus after the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) gave its approval to allow foreign universities to setup their campuses in India in March.

However, the Foreign Education Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, 2010 is still pending in Parliament. The bill, which was to be taken up during the monsoon session of Parliament, would now be taken up during the winter session.

According to the bill, any foreign varsity entering India will have to create a $12-million corpus fund and profits will not be allowed to be expatriated to shareholders. The universities would also have to reinvest 75 per cent of profit in the school or university and the rest would become a part of the corpus fund.

Foreign universities, however, will have the right to form their own fee structure and admission rules.

Duke University said investment will not be an issue as it already satisfies the criteria set by the proposed bill.

In fact, Duke university is also looking at setting up a campus in South Africa and South America by the end of this calendar year. Like Yale, Brown and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it is also in talks with the MHRD on partnering the upcoming 14 innovation universities. Yale and Brown, however, are not looking at setting up an India campus.

"We would like to partner the innovation universities in the space of information technology, science and the qualitative side of engineering that will make the youth employable. However, our immediate plans are to consolidate all our programmes in the country under one roof," Singh added.

September 27th, 2010

Virginia Tech’s plan in India – a campus 2 hrs away from Chennai in Tamil Nadu

Following is an excerpt from a report in http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/story.php?relyear=2010&itemno=162.

Virginia Tech is taking a significant step toward establishing a new campus overseas through the execution of an agreement with a large private sector group. The proposed Virginia Tech, India campus will be located on at least 30 acres in the state of Tamil Nadu in southeast India initially encompassing a 70,000-square-foot campus facility. Master’s and Ph.D. programs are planned for approximately 300 students in engineering and the sciences.

The institution – called Virginia Tech MARG Swarnabhoomi, India – fulfills Virginia Tech’s desire to have a credible presence in India with ample land for future growth and proximity to a major metropolitan city. The proposed campus will be located within a two-hour drive of Chennai (formerly known as Madras), India’s fourth largest city and the capital of Tamil Nadu.

… The agreement represents more than three years of research and preparation on the part of a high-level team involving Steger, representatives of several of Virginia Tech’s academic colleges, and John E. Dooley, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs. The enterprise is expected to draw on Virginia Tech research resources such as the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech also will be involved.

“Learning, discovery and engagement – the three pillars of scholarship at the Blacksburg campus – will be in force at Virginia Tech India,” Dooley said. “Graduates with master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Virginia Tech India will help fulfill the country’s need for quality faculty members to teach in ever-expanding engineering and science colleges in India.”

Virginia Tech will manage the campus and design its academic programs, research facilities, and labs. The university will also promote the idea of education abroad at the new campus and arrange for faculty exchanges. The new campus is expected to become the site of high tech seminars, workshops, and symposia.

… In 2007, a government commission in India urged that the country increase its number of universities from 350 to 1,500 by 2015. In 1999, Virginia Tech became the first U.S. institution to offer a degree program in India – a master’s in information technology offered in conjunction with the S.P. Jain Institute. Harvard, Yale, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Georgia Institute of Technology are also pursuing centers in India.

Following youtube video talks about Virginia Tech’s plan.

June 9th, 2010


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