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India: Chopras to set up university in the Himalayas

The Shivalik Hills Foundation Trust, established and run by The Chopras, one of India’s largest career counselling and education companies, has been granted permission by the Higher Education Department in Uttarakhand, India, to open a university.

India Chopras, Himalayas, universityUniversity of NorthWest Himalayas will be built 3500 ft above sea level in Dehradun, an education hub at the foothill of the Himalayas. Photo: Paul Hamilton.

The university aims to eventually enrol 5,000 students

The trust is set to start building the campus for the University of NorthWest Himalayas in Dehradun, an education hub at the foothill of the Himalayas, with the aim of opening in August 2018.

The university aims to build capacity to enrol 1,500 domestic and international students in its initial development phase, later expanding to take in 5,000 students.

“It’s in response to a global need for meaningful education that prepares students for a world that is being taken over by automation”

Naveen Chopra, chairman of the company, said the university is a “21st century project” that will be “global from day one”.

“It’s in response to a global need for meaningful education that prepares students for a world that is being taken over by automation with few new jobs emerging,” he told The PIE News.

“Governments aren’t talking about this or putting in place the right policy and frameworks to tackle the issues that confront society in today’s world.”

The project’s initial £50m investment is largely funded with internal resources and bank loans, said Chopra.

“There is wide support for the project from the company’s client base and university partners and financing should pose no problems now or in the future,” he added.

UNwH will be research focused, offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees initially in humanities fields with plans to eventually include science and technology subjects.

In the first phase of development, the university will establish centres for Policy and Governance, Culture and Media Studies, Political Ecology as well as a School of Computer Science and a Faculty of Management.

“Internships and work experience with Indian companies would be built into virtually every course,” said Chopra. “We expect significant international student interest, especially given that India will be a high growth economy for at least the next thirty years.”

Costs will be “a third of UK tuition fees” and students will live in the company’s own purpose-built accommodation or private residences in Dehrudan, where 12 other universities also have campuses.

UNwH is be built 3,500 ft above sea level, offering a panoramic view of the valley and the Shivalik Hills mountain range.  

Chopra hopes its location in the education hub will attract students from the Indian diaspora, while its international curriculum and partial degree partnerships with overseas university partners will help to directly recruit students from all over the world.

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