Symbiosis is a family of 48 academic institutions, imparting quality education for over 45 years. It is host to over 34,000 Indian and International students on campus.
These campuses epitomize the Symbiosis vision, 'Promoting International Understanding through Quality Education' and are a beehive of international students from all across the globe, being privy to Indian culture and hospitality. Many of these campuses are fully residential and have recreational facilities which include swimming pools, amphitheaters & Health Care centres. Keeping its excellent track record in mind, in 2002, the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India conferred the 'Deemed to be University' status on Symbiosis, and further in 2006 the University Grants Commission, Government of India withdrew the word Deemed and renamed the University as Symbiosis International University.
Inspired by the ideals of 'Vishwa Bharati' of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore and 'Antar Bharati' of Sane Guruji and with a deep desire to help foreign students, an idea of 'Symbiosis' was conceived by Dr. S.B. Mujumdar in the year 1971. The motto of Symbiosis is 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' and truly for the foreign students at Pune it is a 'Home away from Home'.
Symbiosis today comprises of 44 institutes imparting training in diverse disciplines. It has students who hail from all states of India and more than 85 different countries.
Dr. Vidya Yeravdekar, the Principal Director of Symbiosis Society is a gynaecologist, who also has a degree in law to add to her qualification.
She imbibed the zeal for social and educational work through her father, Dr. S.B. Mujumdar.
She has traveled widely to countries like UK, USA, UAE, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia etc. On these tours she has participated in educational fairs and has interacted with students and parents in an attempt to promote higher Indian education abroad.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But it involves deliberation and much hesitation. The Symbiosis journey however began with a surge of enthusiasm spurred on by an incident that, in itself, makes a poignant tale. It is an inspiring tale and in the words of the founder of Symbiosis, Dr. S. B. Mujumdar, it says:
"It was afternoon on a hot day. I was standing near a window of my house overlooking the first hostel block, of which I was a rector. A strange thing happened. A girl walked up to the window of the boy's hostel room, quickly handed over something and disappeared. My curiosity was aroused and I kept watching the girl walking up to the window day after day and suspected, like any other rector would, that an affair was afoot.
So one day, I made up my mind and walked up to the door and knocked. When the door opened, I saw a Mauritian student lying in bed. His face was pale and his eyes seemed to have sunken low.
I was puzzled !!
When I turned to the boy for an explanation, he said, "Sir, I have an attack of jaundice and I'm feeling extremely weak. I cannot stand up, nor walk a few steps. A girl from my country brings me food. However, since ladies are not allowed to enter the boy's hostel, she hands over the lunch box through the window."
I was stunned, after all, it wasn't the type of 'affair' I had expected. I was very much pained and decided something had to be done about this. That was the instance! A golden moment! "Symbiosis was born".
Symbiosis is a term in life science, meaning 'living together of two different organisms for the benefit of each other. Dr. S.B. Mujumdar, himself a professor of botany, thought this name apt for the institution.
Thus the institution was founded to alleviate the problems faced by foreign students coming to India. At the time, these problems included- accommodation, meals, medical care, guidance, coaching, information about the city etc.
Symbiosis has come a long way since then. Today it is a home to students from more than 85 different countries. These students are offered the best learning resources, industry, exposure, a strong International Students' Alumni network, a global recognition and above all, a truly enriching India experience.