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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wollongong eyes off India for campus

NEWS FROM  - WOLLONGONG is the latest Australian university to look to India as the location for a new branch campus.

Heading a 30-strong trade and investment delegation to India this week, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell announced the initiative which is being developed in partnership with industrialist Arun Jagatramka, who has extensive business interests in the Illawarra.

The plan, which is still in the early stages of development, would see Wollongong establish a university with an engineering focus for around 4000 students in Ahmedabad in Gujarat state, Mr Jagatramka’s birthplace.

“A robust plan with key milestones has been agreed and work has already begun on undertaking the necessary due diligence, planning and establishment planning,” Mr O’Farrell said in a statement.

Mr Jagatramka, who is chairman and managing director of Gujarat NRE Coking Coal, a subsidiary of his Indian-based company Gujarat NRE Coke, will finance the project and provide liaison between the university and government officials.

The Indian government has introduced legislation to let foreign universities set up campuses there, although after four years it has yet to be passed.

So far only Ballarat University is the only Australian university to indicate it is interested in establishing a branch campus, although most universities have partnerships and joint ventures of some description.

Wollongong already operates a branch campus in Dubai, which is established 19 years ago.

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