June 4, 2013 — India’s first private Jesuit university will open in 2014, according to Jesuit Father Paul Fernandes, who is working on the initiative. Xavier University will be located in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, where the Society already runs a successful institute for business management.
While the Jesuits manage several prestigious colleges in the country, they all function under government-run universities.
Fr. Fernandes says the university will set aside half of the places for students from Odisha, which is an important destination of higher education for students, according to Fr. Fernandes.
“This is a unique feature. No other private university in the country has such a provision. We have done it because of our commitment to the state,” he said, adding that the Jesuits are studying the possibility of expanding the university to other places.
“The campus will be ready by December, and it will start in July 2014, when we hope to launch the first rural management program,” said Fr. Fernandes, who is director of India’s Xavier Institute of Management.
According to Fr. Fernandes, the Jesuits are very clear about their vision for the new university—an innovative, high quality school that responds to the state’s needs.
“We may have science and humanities schools of the university. Looking at the state’s needs, we need to strengthen arts, science, cultural and media education,” said Fr. Fernandes. [Matters India, Vatican Radio]