The first Jesuit private university in India will open its doors next year. It will be named after St Francis Xavier, and will be built in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, where the Jesuits already run a business management institute, the Xavier Institute of Management. The Orissa state Legislative Assembly recently gave the go-ahead to the project, which was first proposed four years ago.
Fr Paul Fernandes SJ, director of Xavier Institute of Management and one of the leading promoters of the initiative, said that the vision is to have a high quality university that is “innovative. “The campus will be ready by December, and it will start in July 2014, when we hope to launch the first rural management programme.”
In the second, third and fourth phases, one or two schools will be added to Xavier University. According to Fr Fernandes, the university may have science and humanities schools because of the need to strengthen arts, science, cultural and media education in the state.
The university has allocated half of its places to students from Odisha, as “our commitment to the state”, said Fr Fernandes adding that “this is a unique feature” that “no other private university in the country has”.
The estimated cost of the first phase of the project is 400 million rupees (about US$7 million).