University plans campus in India
6:00am Thursday 4th December 2008
By Saiqa Chaudhari »
INDIA could be the Jewel in the Crown as the University of Bolton bids to create its own academic empire.
The university is in talks to open its second purpose-built campus in India.
At the start of this academic year, the university opened a £1 million branch campus in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The planned campus for India would be a similar establishment.
Talks are still in their early stages and as yet no location in the country has been decided or the types of courses it would offer.
Senior university chiefs are also considering moves to establish a campus in Singapore.
India has been chosen because of the university’s reputation as a leading research institution in the field of textiles.
If successful, the move will strengthen the university’s international standing.
University of Bolton Vice-Chancellor Dr George Holmes said: “Having successfully launched its first branch campus in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, the University of Bolton is looking to develop its international presence.
“The University has ambitions to open branch campuses in India and possibly Singapore in the future. With our world-recognised research tradition in materials and technical textiles we already have strong links with India, but any discussions are at the very earliest stages.”
Professor Subnash Anand, from the university’s Centre for Materials Research and Innovation, is currently a visiting professor at universities in India.
Since being awarded university status in 2005, the former Bolton Institute has undergone rapid expansion locally and globally. It has bases in universities in China, Bahrain, Germany, Malaysia, Malawi and Vietnam.
And among the new universities, it is one of the leading establishments in developing global links.
The proposed campus in India would be modelled on the UAE campus, which offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The programmes are directly equivalent to those provided for students at Bolton and share the same exam boards.
University chiefs are also keen to organise exchange visits to give students in Bolton an opportunity to study at the new UAE campus for part of their degree course.
Dr Holmes said: “Our plans are to grow to give our students the opportunity to study overseas and become global citizens.”
It marks a further strengthening in Bolton’s relations with the sub-continent. The town is also planning to lead a trade mission to Mumbai next year.
Greater Manchester’s Chamber of Commerce Bolton manager Nigel McFarlane said: “The proposals are exciting for the town and will further the town’s standing as it develops important links with growing economies.”
Keith Davies, Director of Development and Regeneration at Bolton Council said: “We’re delighted to hear that the University of Bolton is looking to expand into India, which is consistent with the market opportunities we see for Bolton businesses. The university has been invited to join the Bolton delegation as part of the North-west trade mission, taking place in February, to explore the opportunities India has to offer. They have been a valuable partner in similar missions to China in the past.”