The University of Mumbai has generated around Rs 640 crore in the last 18 months through endowments from alumni and philanthropists and plans to use this money to build campuses aboard, starting with the US.
The vice-chancellor made this announcement on Monday at the annual convocation ceremony. “I am initiating a world tour, to be commenced this year. Starting from the USA, where I would explore the possibilities of obtaining permissions to establish our campus and run global academic programs of ‘on-platform’ nature,” said Sanjay Deshmukh, V-C, MU.
This announcement comes less than a year after Deshmukh, as part of the university budget discussion, mentioned the plan to set up campuses in UAE. “Thanks to the recently approved Maharashtra Public University Bill, this move will be possible now,” added Deshmukh.
Apart from plans of initiating new campuses abroad, the chancellor also highlighted the aim of generating over Rs 1000 crores in the next three years for the university. While the governor and state government will be the chief patrons in this project, Deshmukh also requested chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd, Mukesh Ambani, a former alumnus who was the chief guest for the event, to be its principal patron.
While the audience applauded the announcement of these plans, others had their doubts. “I feel the university should first focus on repairing the current system in Mumbai and sub campuses in the rest of the state. A campus in US should be the last thing on their mind,” said a former senate member. The member added that several complaints have been filed about the condition of several buildings and classrooms in the Kalina campus, which are yet to be heard.