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Oxford and Cornell woo Mumbai’s rich kids

Tuesday, 20 March 2012 - 9:50am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Indian students are much sought after by foreign varsities, with the latter having started sending delegations to city colleges on a special recruitment drive.

Indian students are much sought after by foreign varsities, with the latter having started sending delegations to city colleges on a special recruitment drive.

Vice-chancellor of Oxford university will visit St Xavier’s college today. The invite, which has been sent to almost all city colleges, says that he is on a ‘recruitment drive for graduate students’.

He will be interacting with students and answering their queries on admission, eligibility criteria and other such information. Students have been asked to come with their curriculum vitaes and other documents.

A St Xavier’s college student said, “I’m looking forward to this interaction; I will get to know so much more about Oxford, one of the most reputed universities in the world.” Close to 300 undergraduate students from all city colleges are expected to attend the meet. This is the first such event at the college and probably in the city as well.

Dean of Johnson School of Management of Cornell University, Joseph Thomas too was in the city on Monday to inaugurate the new campus of SK Somaiya college. Thomas, however, clarified that they are not starting any course in India, but added , “We can collaborate in research as Asian countries are important for us now.”

In January, president of Harvard university, Drew Gilpin Faust had come to Mumbai university and addressed close to 500 students of city’s colleges and B-schools.

Europe’s youngest B-school, Oxford’s Saïd Business School plans to visit HR College of Commerce by March-end. Confirming the news, principal of HR college and city sheriff Indu Shahani said, "It’s a good sign that top foreign varsities want good Indian students at their campuses.”

Interestingly, no Indian varsity has come in the top 100 in the recently announced Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Oxford is at number 6, while 10 UK varsities are in the top 100. Also, two universities from China and one from Taiwan feature in the top 100.

So then, if our students and education system are not up to the mark, why are elite varsities visiting? "It’s because India is growing very fast, as are the aspirations of the upper middle class.

Rich Indians are ready to pay 10 to 20 times more than what they need to pay here to send their children abroad if they don’t get a seat in ace Indian schools or colleges. Postgraduate and management courses are more in demand," said officials from the British Council and American Consulate.

Director of JBIMS Dr Stephan D’Silva agrees. “Students who don’t get admission in good colleges in India try for foreign varsities. Moreover, most of the students who go to the UK or US for postgraduate courses try their best to settle down there. Foreign varsities are doing business around this trend.” Close to 20,000 students are currently studying in the UK, while 1.05 lakh are studying in the US.

Economic slowdown in the US and Europe too has made varsities look at Indian students. “There are chances of less enrolment in postgraduate and management courses as they are quite costly,”said an education counsellor.

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