The University of Wollongong is pressing ahead with plans to open a campus in India, but appears to have parted ways with its partner, Gujarat NRE Coking Coal boss Arun Jagatramka, amid troubled times for the mining company.
Mr Jagatramka was to assist in financing the campus and in liaising between Indian authorities and the university. In November 2011, he signed a memorandum of understanding with UOW's then Vice-Chancellor Gerard Sutton in Mumbai.
Yesterday, UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (international), Professor Joe Chicharo, confirmed Mr Jagatramka was no longer involved in negotiations.
Prof Chicharo did not comment on Mr Jagatramka's financial involvement, saying only: "The University of Wollongong is currently exploring an opportunity to partner with a Gujarat State Government-owned entity to establish an international centre of excellence in education and research.
"Arun was involved with the initial introductions, but now our negotiations are with the Gujarat State Government. Beyond this, the university is not able to make any further comment."
In an interview in November 2011, Prof Chicharo told the Mercury plans were for an Indian campus of a similar size to UOW's Dubai offshoot, with Mr Jagatramka's home town, Ahmedabad, the proposed location.
Prof Chicharo said in 2011 that moving into India was not without its challenges, but "having somebody of Mr Jagatramka's calibre and insights into how to do things in India will help this joint initiative enormously".