Amity University has cancelled its plan to buy 2 US campuses- New England Institute of Art, located near Boston and the Art Institute of New York City. As reported by Hindustan Times, these colleges are now owned by the Pittsburgh-based Education Management Corp. Officials said on Tuesday that Amity has withdrawn from the proposed sale. Anne Dean, a spokeswoman for the corporation, did not say why the deal fell through.
The deal could have been a major break through for Amity University as a part of its global expansion strategy. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey had marked her concerns last month about the deal in a statement to Business Insider, “We are very, very sceptical about this. It’s hard to imagine that this outfit from overseas, which has never done any education work here in this country, is well-suited to provide any kind of education to these students.”
In her latest statement after the reports of cancellation of the deal Maura Healey, the state’s attorney general, said on Tuesday that the sale was a “bad idea from the beginning,”
It is believed that the deal came under scrutiny from state regulators in Massachusetts. The compliance laws in US education sector are very stringent. However, Amity University was successful in acquiring a campus on Long Island in New York, which is intended to become the chain’s first US branch. The company paid $22 million in September to acquire a 170 acre site from St. John’s University in New York City, which has now shifted to a smaller location.
Amity University has always been very keen to open new projects abroad as a part of its “Global Expansion Program”. Since it was founded in 2003, the chain has opened campuses in India, England, China, South Africa and five other countries.
It should be noted that many US colleges have opened there branches overseas but very few foreign countries have been allowed to set their foot in US education sector. Federal Government regulations and strict compliance rules are the reasons behind it.
Controversial Track Record:
The founder of Amity University Ashok Chauhan who is the father of the two current Vice Chancellors of the university was charged with fraud in 1990’s in Germany where he ran a group of companies. He fled back to India but was never extradited to the German government. The current Vice Chancellors and the sons of Ashok Chauhan, Aseem and Atul Chauhan have always denied such allegations but this could also be one of the reasons for the failed deal.