American univs looking to expand ops in India

American universities were looking to expand operations in India, after the opening of this sector for foreign educational institutions here, a US official said.

Last Updated: Sep 07, 2010, 22:06 PM IST

Ahmedabad: American universities were
looking to expand operations in India, after the opening of
this sector for foreign educational institutions here, a US
official said.

"American universities are looking to expand
operations in India, a country which sends the most number of
students for studying in US," American centre director Anne
Grimes said here on Tuesday.

Grimes was here to take part in three-day 6th
Anniversary Celebrations of- The American Corner- at Ahmedabad
Management Association complex here beginning today.

"After the opening up of education sector in India, I
have already been approached by a group in US who are looking
at educational initiatives in India," American Centre Director
Anne Grimes said.

"There are number of universities who have interest in
India like the University of Chicago," she said adding that
University of Columbia is doing something in Mumbai and will
be visiting next month here, besides University of Illinois
which is planning to begin its alumni association in India.

"India has the highest number of foreign students in
United States which is around 1,03,000," Grimes said.

"The five posts of US in India, including consulates
in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad together process
6,00,000 visa applications annually of which more than two
thirds are issued visas," Grimes said.

"Nearly 20 per cent of the visas issued from India are
for students," she said.

"We have initiated a slew of measures to step up our
consular operations so that there is not so much of waiting
time for getting visa," Grimes said.

Speaking about the uproar on hike in H1-B visa fee,
Grimes said "US government is well aware of the concerns of
Indian government and business houses have. I want to point
out it is not targeted at India, its a worldwide change in
the visa fee structure."

"India and the US have both greatly profited and
benefited from growing economic relationship and that is
going to continue," she said.

Replying to a query on possibility of roll back in
hike of visa fee Grimes said "I can`t speculate".

Speaking about Gujarat, Grimes said "The only
regional Indian language that showed up in US census was
Gujarati, over 280,000 Gujarati speakers are there in US,
so I think there is lot of potential to build up relations
with this state."

PTI