The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Calcutta campus, all-American degree

A US degree, right here in Calcutta. Or maybe, with a couple of years, on an American university campus, or in Malaysia or Thailand… This, and much more, will be available to aspiring students from the academic term beginning this September. Nexgen School of Management & Technology is putting the finishing touches to its 52,000-sq-m campus on B.L Saha Road, with playing fields and residential complexes. It has tied up with Troy State University (TSU), and is all set to offer under-graduate degrees. The curriculum will be based on the four-year system, and at the end, the degree is “all-American”.

The first TSU, a government university, was established in 1887 in Troy, Alabama. Post World War-II, it expanded across the world, having being commissioned by the American armed forces. “The public sector was just natural progression,” explains Thomas D. Halbert of TSU, who was in town to inspect Nexgen. Now, there are 54 TSU-affiliated institutions worldwide, and Calcutta has joined the bandwagon. Although the MBA is still awaiting AICTE approval, the other courses are ready to start, with “professors preferably with American degrees”. The student credits will be certified by KVPG College, Delhi.

“There are many students who cannot go to the US to get a degree. We are bringing it to them,” says Halbert. Nexgen will start off with three courses, BBA, BMC, BCA (business, mass communication and computers). However, there are over 60 courses, or ‘majors’, on offer. After completing the first year at Nexgen, the student can do the remaining three years, on exchange programmes, at any of the Troy universities, from Mumbai to Hanoi, Florida to Atlanta.

The lesson plan is distributed by the mother body, and the curriculum follows the American system of doing a variety of subjects, regardless of the choice of specialisation. So, liberal arts students must have a grounding in subjects like physics and maths, and business majors in music and appreciation of the arts. “That’s the system in the US. It’s what we follow all over, so that if students want to hop universities, there is no problem coping. We are also talking to a number of other universities in the US, for exchange programmes. That should happen in the next year,” adds Halbert.

The procedure is possible through the ‘credits’ that a student notches up with each module, or course subject, that he completes. The credits are then transferable anywhere. In addition, the College Level Entrance Examinations, administered online after a three-hour training session, will allow the student to join directly in the second year. “Indian students have a strong foundation in most subjects anyway. So, they don’t need to start afresh,” says Halbert. But it’s not cheap. Here, it will cost Rs 1.25 lakh to Rs 1.36 lakh. In the US, the cost is $ 12,500, and in Kuala Lumpur, it’s $ 4,500 per year. “It’s for people with different degrees of affordability,” sums up Halbert.

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