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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Seven years on Mumbai Universitys grand Dubai UAE campus plan lost

Seven years on, Mumbai University’s grand Dubai, UAE campus plan lost

Updated on: 24 February,2023 06:07 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dipti Singh |

Despite a passed proposal, budgetary allocations and a funding partner to set up infra, plan failed to take off when chaos over results erupted at the home turf

Seven years on, Mumbai University’s grand Dubai, UAE campus plan lost

The management council severely criticised the proposal in the aftermath of the results delay, some Mumbai University officials said. File pic

Seven years on,  Mumbai University’s (MU) ambitious plans to set up an offshore campus remain on paper. Announced with much fanfare, the project, which even had funds sanctioned, is forgotten amid changing vice-chancellors and criticism.

In 2016, the varsity was invited to set up its campus in Dubai and United Arab Emirates (UAE). MU officials said that the administration made budgetary provisions worth Rs 20 lakh in its budget 2016-17. This was followed by a proposal to set up an offshore campus; it was tabled by the then vice-chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh before the academic council and passed in May 2017. The varsity had planned three undergraduate degree courses—psychology, sociology and economics at the Dubai campus, which was aimed to become operational from 2018-19.

However, in 2017, the MU faced turmoil over delayed announcement of results and Deshmukh was sacked in October 2017 for introducing online assessment of papers. This had delayed results by a month, leaving lakhs of students suffering.

“That year, a team had shortlisted a location to set up the campus and found a partner to fund the university for the construction. Everything was in place. But now, the project is lost. Hardly anyone remembers it anymore as priorities have changed now,” said a senior MU official. The partner was to fund the infrastructure in exchange for a share of the fee revenue.

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Bringing order at home

According to some MU officials, the proposal was later struck down by the management council members, saying that the administration first needed to make amends and take care of the campus in Mumbai rather than set up a new one offshore.

“That year was a disaster. The campus here at home was facing problems; lakhs of students were suffering as their results were delayed by months. Many who wanted to pursue higher education abroad were stuck; some had provisional job offers, and were facing the threat of losing them amid the absence of results. Hence the proposal was heavily criticised at the management council meeting. Also, many thought the proposal needed further checking as Pune university’s campus at Ras al Khaimah (RAK) in UAE did not work out and had low student turnout then,” said Subhash Athavle, seneral secretary of Mumbai University and College Teachers Association (MUCTA).

This was not the first ‘failed’ plan to set up an offshore campus. Initially, Deshmukh wanted to set up MU’s first offshore campus in the United States. He even visited the country to scout for possible locations. But, the plan took a backseat due to a lack of funds.

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