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Saturday, November 19, 2011

The University of Wollongong -Indian press welcomes planned UOW campus

The University of Wollongong’s plans to establish a campus in Ahmadebad have caused excitement in the Indian media.
The Economic Times, India’s largest financial newspaper, jumped the gun with its headline, saying the university was already moving in.

The fact the project was being developed in partnership with India-Australian mining magnate Arun Jagatramka would have added to the fervour.

Mr Jagatramka, who is chairman of Bellambi-based Gujarat NRE Coking Coal, is negotiating to have the estimated 4000-place campus established in his home city of Ahmadebad, in Gujarat state.

Initial focus would be on providing niche higher education programs at bachelor and master degree level, particularly in engineering and IT.

‘‘[It will] usher a new era in technical education in India,’’ The Economic Times said.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerard Sutton and Mr Jagatramka at a luncheon in Mumbai this week.

The luncheon was held in honour of NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, who witnessed the signing of the memorandum.

The Economic Times said the agreement ‘‘marked the growing relations between India and Australia, and NSW in particular’’.

The ties were further strengthened by the visit of the ‘‘Honourable Premier’’, who sang the praises of UOW at the luncheon.

‘‘I congratulate Mr Jagatramka and the University of Wollongong on this initiative which will benefit all stakeholders, including students, industry, and local, state and national governments,’’ he said.

“The University of Wollongong is representative of the world-quality education that our universities offer and having an on-the-ground presence in India will help to promote our state as a leader in international education.’’

UOW has already been portrayed favourably in the Indian media, with its Dubai campus described as one of the region’s ‘‘most respected universities’’ in The Times of India last month.

There was no reference to recent security threats to Indian students living in Melbourne.

Although UOW was not involved in the scandal, UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (international) Professor Joe Chicharo said there had been flow-on effects, with student numbers falling to just under 200.

‘‘Australia has fallen from grace a little bit with the student safety crisis in Melbourne and we’ve all been impacted by that,’’ he said.

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