Foreign educational institutions are now keen on setting up operations in Bangalore.

A hub for higher education, Bangalore houses some of the nation’s premier educational institutions. And this very attribute of the city is now drawing foreign institutes to set up base in the city. Institutes have earlier preferred other destinations in India, such as Mumbai, Hyderabad or the National Capital Region to set up satellite campuses, but Bangalore is now catching up.

LISAA School of Design, headquartered in France, is now offering fashion design, textile design, graphic design and interior design courses to students out of its Bangalore campus. Speaking about the city’s profile as a suitable location for a satellite campus, Avi Keswani, director, LISAA School of Design-Bangalore, said, “Bangalore is a preferred destination for a foreign set-up as it is a cosmopolitan city with an inclination towards education.” To her, this combination trumps other cities like Jaipur and Chandigarh which were being considered as well.

In addition to the France-based design school, the city will soon welcome the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The top-tier management school is launching the first Stanford Ignite-Bangalore, a certificate programme for engineers, scientists, and product managers who want to bring innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to their current roles. This nine-week programme beginning in August is modelled after the Stanford Ignite programme that is offered on the Stanford campus in Silicon Valley.

While Bangalore is yet to see a massive influx of foreign campuses setting up base, it has nevertheless been favoured for foreign university tie-ups. The National Law School of India University (NLSIU) has about 30 MoUs with foreign institutes. The Indian Institute of Management tops the chart, having tie-ups with more than 100 foreign institutes, including Melbourne Business School, Tepper School of Management, University of Sydney, EADA Spain, Vienna University, Gothenburg University, and AESE, Portugal for whom IIM-B has developed a short-duration programme titled "Doing Business in India". According to the website, “It equips participants/students to understand processes, trends, economic relations and policy changes in the national and international business environment.”

Positive factors

V.S. Elizabeth, Faculty in-charge of the International Student Exchange Programme, NLSIU, noted that foreign universities prefer Bangalore as it houses some of the top institutions in the country. The economy and the industrial background of Bangalore are other positive factors. But at the same time, she said, “The reason Bangalore does not yet house satellite campuses is because we already have the best here, in terms of NLSIU, IISc., IIM, etc. It is preferable to not have satellite campuses.”