>>What is the draw: The KANNAPPAN CHETTIAR Stansfield Group

Stansfield Group is the biggest private law school here and tar- gets students who want to study law but not practise it. It is known for its various pro- grammes with the University of London. It is also the only private centre besides the Singapore Institute of Management to run programmes from the London School of Economics. It takes one who has fallen to help others

>> Who: Mr Kannappan Chet- tiar, 42, chief learning officer and chairman of The Stansfield Group

>>Then: As a schoolboy, he disliked his teachers and scraped through his O and A levels. He obtained a business degree from Michigan State University in the United States and began work as an information system officer at Citibank

Then he decided to take up a distance-learning law degree programme at a private school that has since closed down. He soon grew fed up with the shab- by way the course was run-the lecturers were all part-timers and the premises cramped. He borrowed from family and friends and bought over the ex- isting Singapore Institute of Commerce (SIC) in 1991 to offer properly run law programmes. But he fell out with his partners the following year, and started afresh in 1993 by maxing out his $20,000 personal credit line with Citibank to start the Stansfield School of Business.

The school occupied one floor of the town council premises in Serangoon and had 200 students in its first year. Nine in 10 were about 200 from India. part-time students doing busi- ness courses. Mr Chettiar still dreamed of - becoming a lawyer, but ended up growing an education business over the last 14 years.

>> Now: Stansfield has five branches here with about 3,500 students, half of whom are. full-time and from abroad. Two out of three of the international students hail from China, with about 200 from India The school buildings have air- conditioned classrooms and are. well equipped with modern teaching aids Mr Chettiar also runs two hostels at Bartley and Upper Ser: angoon. The Bartley campus, the 3.64ha site of the former Bartley Secondary, has been refurbished at a cost of $3 million. It can take up to 700 students and has facili- ties like badminton courts and computer and games rooms.

Stansfield has also gone to In- dia, opening an eight-storey building in the heart of Chennai, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu . Its now has 60 students doing postgraduate management courses but hopes to increase this to 1200 students

Mr Chettiar see another 19 centres opening in India by 2010 and one in either Shanghai or Beijing next year

>> What is the draw: The Stansfield group is the biggest private law school here and targets students who want to study law but not practise it . It is known for various programmes with the university of London its is also the only private centre besides the Singapore institute of management to run programmes from the London school of economics

Haunted by memories of his own bad experience with dis- couraging teachers at school, Mr Chettiar exhorts his teachers most of whom have postgradu- ate degrees not to "kill the spirit" of students. Each year, nine in 10 students. graduate with an honours degree, Last year, 12 students in its class of about 250 graduated. with first-class degrees from the University of London.

>>Why education: "We are not here to serve the top schol- ars. Who comes to us? Those who have fallen. Who under- stands these people? Only anoth- er person who has fallen."

It takes one who has fallen to help others