THE UNIVERSITY of Mumbai is all set to have its first offshore campus in Dubai soon. According to Vice Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh, the university’s plan to have a campus abroad has finally taken shape. The varsity will offer three undergraduate degree courses – Psychology, Sociology and Economics, on its Dubai campus, which is likely to be operational from the academic year 2018-19. A proposal for the same was passed by the university’s academic council recently, said Deshmukh.
“We have been successful in finding a place in Dubai for a campus and also found a partner to fund the university for the same. We are looking forward to starting the courses soon,” said Deshmukh, who has been in talks with several investors and alumni to set up international campuses.
While Deshmukh refused to reveal any detail of the partner, he said the partner would provide funds for the physical campus and infrastructure. In return, the varsity will have to share its fee revenue with the partner. The university will now start the process to get the necessary permissions for starting the courses.
The campus will increase the outreach of the university and will target Indian nationals in the United Arab Emirates, said Deshmukh.
According to sources, a budgetary provision of Rs20 lakh was made in 2016-17 for setting up campuses abroad.
Meanwhile, the VC’s plan to get a campus in the United States of America may have to take a backseat owing to lack of funds. However, Deshmukh said an online campus is in the offing. “Having a physical campus would be a very costly affair at this point. We have offers from a couple of universities to set up our own online university within their campuses, which seems like a feasible option. Online learning programmes are becoming quite popular among students,” said Deshmukh.
The University of Mumbai will be the second Indian state university to go global. In 2009, Savitribai Phule University of Pune became the first such university to set up an international campus at Ras al Khaimah in UAE. However, the decision backfired as the varsity couldn’t find takers for its courses and had to contemplate shutting the campus down.