India’s Amity College Increasing to US

Amity University

College students work with their instructor within the chemistry division at Amity College in Noida, India.

(AP Photograph/Mustafa Quraishi)

BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — Certainly one of India’s largest schools is increasing into the US with the acquisition of 1 campus in New York and a proposal to purchase two extra, drawing opposition from state officers in Massachusetts in regards to the high quality of the schooling it’s going to provide.

Dozens of US schools have opened abroad campuses, however few overseas colleges have sought to determine branches in the US, partially due to the associated fee and tighter regulation. Amity College, a system of personal schools based mostly in New Delhi, has lengthy sought to create a worldwide community of faculties, nonetheless.

Because it was based in 2003, the chain has opened campuses in India, England, China, South Africa and 5 different nations.

Add the U.S. to that checklist.

Amity paid $22 million final month to purchase a Lengthy Island department of St. John’s College in New York Metropolis, which was promoting the campus and shifting to a smaller web site on Lengthy Island. Amity plans to open its first U.S. department on the 170-acre, century-old campus after it features possession in June 2017.

The chain additionally has made a deal to purchase the New England Institute of Artwork, a for-profit school close to Boston, and certainly one of its sister colleges, the Artwork Institute of New York Metropolis, in accordance with paperwork filed in Massachusetts. The deal would require approval from state schooling officers.

“We’re very, very skeptical about this,” stated Massachusetts Legal professional Normal Maura Healey, who’s asking the state’s Board of Greater Training to dam the sale. “It is arduous to think about that this outfit from abroad, which has by no means achieved any schooling work right here on this nation, is well-suited to supply any sort of schooling to those college students.”

Amity hopes a U.S. campus will entice college students from overseas who wish to achieve the status that comes with finding out in the US. It additionally hopes to forge analysis partnerships with different schools, and to attach overseas students with their counterparts right here.

“Now we have a worldwide imaginative and prescient for schooling, a mannequin of schooling which permits for pupil mobility, school collaboration and analysis collaboration,” stated Aseem Chauhan, Amity’s chancellor. “We consider that the leaders of tomorrow will likely be those that have views from totally different elements of the world.”

Amity University

Amity College campus in Noida, India.

(AP Photograph/Mustafa Quraishi)

Owned by a nonprofit firm, the chain provides bachelor’s and graduate levels in a spread of fields, from artwork to engineering. It enrolls 125,000 college students at greater than a dozen campuses, and has grown quickly amid rising demand for greater schooling in India.

Its founder president, Ashok Chauhan, was charged with fraud within the Nineties by authorities in Germany, the place he ran a community of firms. He returned to India and was by no means extradited. A plastics firm within the U.S. additionally sued Chauhan in 1995 for failing to pay $20 million in money owed, which led to an ongoing court docket battle in India. Amity officers stated Chauhan just isn’t concerned within the U.S. growth. The college is now within the fingers of his sons, Aseem Chauhan and Atul Chauhan.

Some within the U.S. say the college is extra much like a for-profit school than a standard four-year college.

“They’re a subsidiary of a conglomerate of firms,” stated Barmak Nassirian, director of federal relations and coverage evaluation for the American Affiliation of State Faculty and Universities. “That is in no way reassuring, in the event you ask me.”

Aseem Chauhan counters that Amity has an “wonderful and distinctive” monitor report of pupil outcomes, though he declined to supply the statistics.

The varsity’s leaders have been eyeing a U.S. growth for years. In 2011, Amity was certainly one of seven schools that entered a contest to construct an engineering campus in New York Metropolis. Cornell College and a college in Israel finally gained. In 2014, Amity filed paperwork to open a nonprofit faculty in California, tax data present, however by no means opened a campus.

Amity has been pushing for U.S. growth whereas some conventional colleges shut due to dwindling enrollment, and as many for-profit establishments search consumers amid rising federal regulation and oversight.

“The for-profit market is de facto vast open proper now,” stated Kevin Kinser, a professor of schooling coverage at Pennsylvania State College. “An establishment with loads of assets would possibly see this as an inexpensive alternative to get a foothold within the trade.”

Chauhan would not talk about Amity’s proposed buy of the 2 for-profit colleges, and neither would the corporate that is promoting them, the Pittsburgh-based Training Administration Company. However either side signed a letter to Massachusetts schooling officers in July outlining the “anticipated acquisition” by Amity.

They are saying the sale would save the New England Institute of Artwork, which began planning to shut final yr after half a decade of steep enrollment and income losses. The institute has stopped including new college students, and plenty of others have left. Some former college students are actually planning to sue the institute for fraud.

Massachusetts schooling officers have requested extra info from Amity in regards to the proposal.

Even when it is accredited, Amity may face an extended highway earlier than it begins work within the U.S. To start granting levels, it could want approval from a U.S. accreditor, usually a rigorous course of. And to obtain federal monetary assist for its college students, it must be screened by the U.S. Division of Training.

Nonetheless, Chauhan stated he is able to make his case.

“We repeatedly benchmark our high quality with the very best quality requirements and the very best accreditation requirements globally,” he stated.

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