'City of the Young': Developing Mangaluru into world-class study space

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)


Dr G ShreeKumar Menon Archives:


By Dr G ShreeKumar Menon, IRS (Rtd), PhD (Narcotics)
Former Director General
National Academy of Customs Excise and Narcotics,
& Multi Disciplinary School Of Economic Intelligence, India
Fellow, James Martin Center For Non Proliferation Studies, USA
Public Administration, Maxwell School of Public Administration, Syracuse University, USA
AOTS Scholar, Japan
Registrar, Yenepoya University, Mangaluru
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Comment on this article

  • Abby, Kadri

    Mon, Oct 02 2017

    We don't want just a education city....youths of mangalore want jobs too...what's the use of studying here and fleeing to other place for jobs.

  • DH, SF/USA

    Thu, Aug 10 2017

    1 ) Students are attracted to quality institutions. Manipal aside, Mangalore doesn't have many of those. This is the first and foremost important barrier to this vision. And the university system with 140 different colleges is an absolute mess, which destroys organizational efficiency.

    2) Foreign students want to experience local culture in a social environment that is safe and friendly. Mangalore has a conservative culture that is just terrible for foreign students. Very little mixing with foreigners. Racism against Africans. Anti-religious bigotry against Muslims. Given that 1/5th of the world is Muslim. And we're reaching 2/7th of the world being African, these are major markets for international students that are being discourages by local issues.

    3) Utter lack of nightlife. How many pubs in Mangalore where young men and women can mix freely? Like it or not, this is part of the college experience for most of the world. And not just pubs. Not many museums and galleries. And for a place with great natural beauty, not many public parks for locals to avail of them. Places like Kadri are nice. But there are too few of them. All in all, a lack of space to socialize outside the classroom in general.

    It's going to take a lot to make Mangalore a top destination for students, in India. Let alone, the world. And it starts with understanding that there are more issues at hand then just a great campus where you can get a piece of paper in a few years.

  • Raj Kiran Shettu, Mangalore

    Sun, Jun 11 2017

    Menon Sir, Excellent article. Dakshina Kannada has always been considered one of the most sought-after education destinations, especially in Mangaluru, which provides quality education in higher and professional courses. The Dakshina Kannada district is home to a wide variety of schools, engineering and medical institutions as well as health, management and hospitality. And now it should be our aim to take it to international level.

  • Naveen, Mangalore

    Sun, Jun 11 2017

    Absolutely, we students and institutions should come together and with proper mentors Mangalore can be one of the next big thing :)

  • Majeed S.V., Derlakatte, Mangalore

    Fri, Jun 09 2017

    Good suggestion to give tagline "City of the Young". Waiting for the continuation.

  • Dr UT Ifthikar Ali, Senate member RGUHS Bangalore

    Wed, Jun 07 2017

    Excellent article. Truly mangalore is the educational hub of the country where the best of the students minds comlegrate. This article emphasis the need to further showcase Mangalore city on a broader spectrum in the international arena.

  • Aysha, Mangalore

    Wed, Jun 07 2017

    It's an apt tagline for a city that has developed so much in such a short time period. Hoping to see this turn into a reality!

  • Alfred Dsouza, Bendur Mangalore

    Wed, Jun 07 2017

    Dr. Menon. Hats off to you for giving this tagline. PERFECT. This should encourage our youth to come out and do much more; our elderly to guide them to their goal. Thank you. We Mangaloreans are grateful for your thoughts. We are a small city, but we can grow with our principles remaining in tact.God bless.

  • Sainath, Karwar

    Wed, Jun 07 2017

    What an idea sirji?

  • NR, mangalore

    Wed, Jun 07 2017

    God bless mangalore..............

  • Flavia Gonsalves, Panjim, Goa

    Wed, Jun 07 2017

    As usual Daijiworld is in the forefront supporting progressive ideas. This article needs to be read by the Mayor, Commissioner,Corporators and Vice Chancellors of all the universities in Mangaluru city. Thanks Daiji, for taking this bold initiative to improve the city.

  • B.Dhanya, Kasaragod

    Wed, Jun 07 2017

    Its a groovy idea, Mangaluru as "The City of The Young". I thank Daijiworld for this great article, as also the writer. Let's carry this idea forward.

  • Sangeetha Jayachandran, Cochin

    Wed, Jun 07 2017

    I studied at Mangalore, St.Agnes College and have very fond memories of the place and its friendly people. It is certainly The City of the Young, I agree with the author. Somebody at the helm with knowledge and vision can make Mangalore a dream city for the young.

  • zishan, mangalore

    Wed, Jun 07 2017

    Eminent article !! perfectly said " Mangalore is city of young"

    "the universities in this region need to gear up their facilities, infrastructure, and teaching quality."

    The lacking facilities and less developed universities bring the black mole.
    surely I agree with the article, we need to gear up !!

    International students bring the market into a city. so vice versa, if this topic is focussed on. Mangalore will surely be one of the best cities in India.

  • Riaz, mangalore

    Wed, Jun 07 2017

    Well written article ....Young is surely the new old for Mangalore and it is high time this generation of educationally sound and mentally matured group take this lovely city of Mangalore to break new records in the field of education , health & social well being . As you have rightly pointed out with relevant statistical data , i am sure various universities will take bold steps in achieving this goal .

  • Eric Coelho, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 06 2017

    Mangalore is never the city of the young but definitely can say it is the city of knowledge and hospitality.

  • Imran, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 06 2017

    Nicely written and narrated sir......

  • Dr.Phirdose, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 06 2017

    Excellent article ! Concise and yet loaded with information , data and statistics ! Really appreciate the foresight to make Mangalore an education destination for foreign students ! We have institutions and resources ; need leaders with such perception and foresight to make things happen .The article gives hope that Mangalore can dream big too . 'City of the young ' - perfect connotation -it captures the pulse of the city! Hats off, Sir !!

  • Vineetha, Mangaluru

    Tue, Jun 06 2017

    Excellent.....We all will dream for it and make it a reality.....

  • SUNITA PRABHU, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 06 2017

    Totally agree !
    Lots of pertinent points raised in the article . To make Mangalore truly International and a haven for young adults , a genuinely concerted effort is required from the administration and authorities . The Infrastructure , Civic amenities , Law & order and connectivity to other regions , both nationally and internationally need to be highly improved . This kind of Sea change can only be brought about with the active participation and aid from the residents and Corporates of our beautiful city to the local administration .

  • Arjun Banerjee, New Delhi

    Tue, Jun 06 2017

    Excellent read. Informative, succinct and with certain astute observations and statistics. Spent 4 months in this city two years ago and it still holds a special place in my heart for the cornucopia on offer within its limited area. Go 'City of the Young'!

  • Kiran, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 06 2017

    Narrated nicely, good article especially for youngsters

  • vincent rodrigues, bangaluru/Katapadi

    Tue, Jun 06 2017

    I fully agree with making Mangaluru a city in demand student destination looking at the top educational background around

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