June 6, 2017
Cities across the world have unique mottos, taglines and slogans identifying them. Cities are best described in one tagline, for example, Kolkata is referred to as 'City of joy', Jaipur is called 'Pink city', New York –'The city that never sleeps', Santa Fe – 'The city different', Paris – 'the city of love' Nashville – 'The music city', and Valparaiso, Chile – 'Ocean’s Sweetheart'. Mangaluru is yet to get a tagline, so I propose 'City of the Young'.
Many cities have also opted for distinctive colours, for example Jodhpur has blue, Jaipur – pink, and Jaisalmer – gold. 'The Painted Ladies', a row of homes in San Francisco’s Lower Haight District is most recognizable for its color. Mangaluru also needs a color, maybe another shade of blue to complement the ocean next door!
Wikipedia gives a fabulous introduction about Mangaluru: "Mangaluru has one of the best quality of life in Asia. It has been ranked best in India and 2nd best in Asia for quality of life and 12th in the global list for healthcare. It is the only city from India to appear in top 50. Mangaluru was ranked 13th and Karnataka’s second most favorable destination for business. Mangaluru will be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities mission."
We need to thank all our elected representatives, officials of various departments, corporation elected representatives and officials, who made the above possible. It is a mammoth effort to achieve the above said rankings for an Indian city. We need to be proud of everyone who made this achievement possible, from the lowest worker to the top most executives. The next effort is to improve the rankings and achieve the title of 'Best Student City'.
Why the tagline 'City of the Young'? Mangaluru can boast of a heavy concentration of schools, colleges, and universities. There is a multi cultural environment, with students from all over India converging to this vibrant city. However, much needs to be done to elevate Mangaluru to a world class university city. The UK capital London boasts of the worlds most highly regarded universities, topping Paris, New York, and Melbourne. The 1st place is shared between London and Los Angeles, each city with four universities that feature in the top 100 league table.
The Quacquarelli Symonds 'Best Student Cities List' highlights Montreal, in Canada as the number one location of the year 2017, though it has only two universities. 125 cities are ranked on a number of measures including student satisfaction, affordability, university rankings, employer activity, student mix and desirability. Eight British cities made into the top 50 in 2017. No city has superior variety and quality of universities to London. The two great world cities of London and Paris are in the top three best places to study because of their ability to offer a rich cultural and academic experience.
The competition for attracting international students is big business. The US remains the biggest market; more than a million overseas students were at US universities. Mangaluru has a long way to go in attracting international students from all over the globe. Presently, Mangaluru does not figure in the Top 5 Student Cities in India, which lists Kanpur, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Bengaluru. The Human Resources Development Ministry’s 'India Ranking Report 2016' reveals the top universities in the country. Not a single institution from Mangaluru figures in this list of top 25 universities in India. If Mangaluru has to attract international students, all the universities in this region need to gear up their facilities, infrastructure, and teaching quality.
International students bring money, skills and jobs. It is estimated that international students contribute around 30.5 billion to the US economy. According to the 'Impact of Universities on the UK economy (March 2016)' the higher education sector generated over 73.11 billion pounds and 757,268 full time equivalent jobs throughout the economy via direct and secondary or multiplier effects. Higher educational institutions in London, contributed a net economic benefit of $ 3.5 billion to the UK economy. Imagine the potential of a few universities to bring economic prosperity to a region. If Mangalore University, Yenepoya University, NITTE University, and NIT(K) can be upgraded and brought to international standards, the revenue that can be generated will be immense adding to the prosperity of Mangaluru. By 2025, India will have the world’s largest number of 18-22 year olds seeking higher education, which is estimated at 119 million. The scope is unlimited provided we are geared up to offer an excellent learning environment.
We need to develop Mangaluru as the study space of the future. Students and their preferences should become the prime concern for all educational institutions. Mangaluru needs to be developed and marketed as a city of style, fashion, food, theatres, gardens sporting events, international cuisines, festivals and community events, river cruises and harbor cruises. The incredible natural surroundings, fabulous beaches, spectacular coastline, and nearby mountains should be made appealing by providing facilities for adventure sports.
Mangaluru needs to be projected as an in-demand student destination – 'The City of the Young'.
(To be continued)
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