New initiative furthers U.S. and Indian higher education collaboration and internationalization through digital and knowledge-sharing approaches
DENVER — Commemorating International Education Week 2023 and marking the importance of global perspectives in education, the University of Denver (DU), with support from the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai, announces the launch of a new project aimed at furthering higher education partnerships between Indian and U.S. institutions.
Higher education partnerships between the United States and India have grown rapidly in recent years as have the number of students studying and contributing to the U.S. economy. At the same time, Indian institutions desire to be more global through a range of approaches, including student and faculty exchanges; research collaborations; and “internationalization at home.” However, despite this growth and clear interest amongst both Indian and U.S. institutions to expand their engagement, significant variations in both U.S. and Indian higher education institutions pose a barrier to partnerships. They need to develop a shared understanding and knowledge base of regulations, mechanisms, and best practices for collaboration that can ultimately help enhance and scale-up U.S.-India academic partnerships.
To address these issues and current gaps, the proposed project brings both a sense of structure, coordination, and cohesion to current internationalization efforts across Indian and U.S. institutions, but also emphasizes learning and knowledge-building which is critical for such collaborations and partnerships to sustain and ultimately further U.S.-India educational and cultural exchanges.
“Our hope is that the United States Mission in India assists Indian education institutions to internationalize their campuses which ultimately increases joint efforts in research, tech development, and people to people contact,” said Mike Hankey, U.S. Consul General at the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai. “This ultimately reinforces our bilateral relationship with India and spotlights the unique contributions of the American education system.”
The project also coincides with some key developments, most notably India’s new National Education Policy (NEP) which emphasizes the internationalization of Indian higher education and thus provides the impetus and appetite to further U.S.-India international collaborations. Further, while outbound student mobility from India to the U.S. remains high, the reverse continues to be a challenge, with not enough U.S. students and scholars seeking out India. This creates a greater need for institutions in both countries to deepen other forms of internationalization and collaboration, such as research partnerships.
“DU is very pleased and honored to have the opportunity to further the important engagement between U.S. and Indian institutions, especially at a time when U.S.-India educational relations have been front and center in high-level policy dialogues and highlighted by both President Biden and Prime Minister Modi during his visit to the U.S. in June 2023,” said DU Provost Mary Clark.
Spanning 2023-2025, DU’s new project will focus on both virtual and in-person delivery of content and experience, including the development of a model digital guide on internationalization to forge further understanding on U.S.-India higher education collaborations and partnerships. A robust online course, digital guide and capstone projects will be accompanied by a virtual and in-person knowledge exchange involving select Indian and U.S. institutions and aimed to coincide with DU’s 2025 Internationalization Summit.
Noting the importance of the project, Brenda Soya, public diplomacy officer, U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai, said, “We look forward to working with DU to create a digital guide on Internationalization which will simplify how partnerships can work and clarify commonly used and misunderstood terms. There is strong interest spanning both our countries and the final results will have outcomes in many sectors for many years to come.”
The project will be led by Uttiyo Raychaudhuri, DU’s vice provost for Internationalization, who brings to the project a wealth of expertise in internationalization and engagement with India. To carry out the project, DU will also partner closely with Rajika Bhandari of Rajika Bhandari Advisors, an international higher education expert whose work over the past two decades has also focused on U.S.-India exchanges and internationalization. Bhandari and Raychaudhuri are also the co-founders of the recently launched SouthAsia-IEN (South Asia International Education Network) that aims to bring together leaders, practitioners, scholars, and entrepreneurs in the U.S. higher education space whose origins and/or work touch upon the countries of South Asia.
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