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India Opens First Jesuit University

August 29, 2014 — Xavier University, the first private Jesuit university in India, opened last month in the state of Odisha with Jesuits and government officials in attendance. The university is also the first Catholic university in the state and the fourth in India.

“We hope that this university will continue to be inspired by Jesuit ideals, namely to be visionary, innovative, research-driven and open to all,” said Jesuit Father Paul Fernandes, Vice Chancellor of Xavier University (XU), in his welcome address.

At the inauguration, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the new university aims to be a center of both academic excellence and sound ethical values. He also thanked the Jesuits for establishing the university. While the Jesuits manage several prestigious colleges in the country, until XU, all colleges were under the auspices of the government.

The idea of creating the school, which is spread over 35 acres and currently accommodates 500 students, was born four years ago. The university offers an MBA program, rural management and human resources courses, and plans to offer courses in science, humanities, arts, education, culture and communications.

The university has set aside half the available enrollment slots at XU for students from Odisha, which is an important center for education, according to Fr. Fernandes. “We have done it because of our commitment to the state,” he said. No other private university in India has such a provision. [Source: Asia News]





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