All through the 160 years of its existence, the University of Mumbai has had one address. Now, it may soon have a second home-in Trumpland.
Vice chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh who recently went scouting in the US to set up an international campus, has identified a few viable options.He's either looking at buying abuilding on 24th Street,Manhattan or purchasing a university in Houston, Texas. If neither works out, there's an option to set up a facility within the University of Akron in Ohio.
“We are creating history ,“ said Deshmukh. “ A physical campus of Mumbai University in America is not far away .“
The objective is to create an offshore facility which will design new courses in areas of emerging interest such as international politics, leadership and life coaching. The US campus would benefit from tie-ups with foreign partners and complement the intellectual resources of the existing Mumbai campus.
Deshmukh and team looked at universities in Texas, in particular, which are on sale and offer online education. Buildings in Manhattan, New York that are on the block and can be registered as a new campus were also surveyed. University of Akron in Ohio has also offered to turn over one of its structures to Mumbai University . Members from the 147-year old University of Akron are likely to visit Mumbai in May to detail the plans. “Of the various possibilities, Akron seems closest to conversion,“ said sources.
The visit by the Akron team will coincide with a “first ever“ content formulation workshop hosted by the university which will have representation from five continents.
“Faculty from Mumbai University and those from Ohio (US), Sao Paolo (Brazil), Ghana (Africa), and England (Europe) will design broad framework for course curricula for a certificatediploma course in international politics and area studies, global leadership, and life coaching. It will be a global programme with certificates from participating universities from five continents,“ said Deshmukh, who's clearly eyeing an international profile for Mumbai University . The plan has acquired shape after a US trip by the vice-chancellor during which he networked with Indian Americans, met alumni from the varsity and hosted fund raiser dinners with accomplished academicians, businessmen and political leaders.
Outlining the progress, Radhakrishnan Pillai, deputy director of the varsity's Chanakya International Institute of Leadership, said, “This started out as an “exploratory trip“, said “but with the response we received, we can get going by the coming academic year and eventually offer various forms of courses from undergraduate programmes to PhD.“
Links with Akron were, howe ver, built long before. Last year, a bunch of students from Mumbai were in Ohio to study Donald Trump's presidential campaign.Now, the Americans are desirous of flying down to India to study the complexity of having over a dozen political parties participate in elections in the world's largest democracy .
Or maybe, they won't really have to fly down here, with Mumbai University travelling out.