Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) is planning to invest around Rs 500 crore over the next three to four years in expansion and setting up a new campus.
Speaking to Business Standard, G Viswanathan, founder and chancellor, VIT, said the university was planning to set up a campus at Kelambakkam in Chennai on 150 acres with an investment of around Rs 300 crore. The campus is expected to go on stream in 2012 and accommodate 1,000 students in the first year.
The remaining Rs 200 crore would be spent on expanding the existing Vellore campus, spread over 350 acres, and to improve infrastructure.
“This will be funded through debt and internal accruals. We are also thinking about outside funding including private equity and venture capital,” said Viswanathan. He did not commit any time frame.
Founded in 1984 as a self-financing institution known as Vellore Engineering College, VIT was conferred University status in 2001. It at present offers 50 bachelor and master courses.
VIT has launched a full flexibility system, which allows students to choose different subjects, time and even the faculty. “This is a first of its kind, which we adopted from the Western countries. A student can choose his/her own time for class,” he said.
“We tried this as a pilot and it would be launched on November 29 by the finance minister, who will be here to participate at the University’s silver jubilee function,” said Sekar Viswanathan, pro-chancellor.
The university has made it mandatory for students to learn one foreign language — French, German, Chinese, Japanese or Spanish.
This apart, around 450 students from China are currently learning English and computer skills at VIT. “Our University has the highest number of Chinese students in the country,” said Viswanathan.
Viswanathan said the Madhya Pradesh government had come forward to allocate land. Similarly, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh governments have also approached VIT. “We are currently evaluating these proposals,” he said.