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Ivy League colleges seek desi funds

india Updated: Jan 12, 2007 15:45 IST
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The rules of the game have changed. Moneybags are hardly in short supply in the West, yet Ivy League universities like Harvard, Stanford, Cornell and Columbia are approaching their alumni in India to raise funds.

A number of renowned foreign universities launched billion-dollar fund-raising drives last year to meet the escalating costs of maintaining "global leadership". Some of these efforts are now focusing on India as well.

Columbia University launched its 'Capital Campaign' to rake in $4 billion (Rs 18,000 crore) in September 2006. After visiting alumni in Hong Kong and South Korea to raise money, it has now, for the first time, turned to India too, where it has 800 ex-students.

A file photo of Harvard University. 

"India is nascent on Columbia University's map in terms of fundraising. Till date, the contribution of alumni based in India has been virtually nil," said Shalini Mimani, assistant director of University Development and Alumni Relations at Columbia University.

Cornell University, which launched a $4-billion, five-year effort called 'The Campaign' last October, sent its representatives to India in the first week of January. It has 700 ex-students here.

Although Harvard University is still to announce its 2007 campaign, a global conference in March being organised by the Harvard University Alumni Clubs of Asia will have fundraising on its agenda.