My name is Joe Witters and I work for the State Department's Bureau of South and Central Asia. We have an exciting event coming up that I wanted to make you all aware of. We are 3 weeks away from the U.S. - India Higher Education summit at Georgetown.
The Summit will be jointly hosted by the Government of the United States and the Government of India and attended by 300 higher education leaders and government officials from the U.S. and India, as well as private sector leaders.
Over the next couple of weeks I want to start up a discussion on a variety of topics that will be discussed at the summit. Here is a sample of topics:
You can participate Virtually in the U.S. – India Higher Ed Summit. The interactive webcast will be here: https://statedept.connectsolutions.com/us-india but this is not yet live.
Follow the Twitter conversation #USIndiaEd
A few months ago I ran across a paper written by an MBA candidate out of New York Institute of Technology student, Asif Rahman. We have permission to post his paper, but I want to make this clear that the U.S. Department of State does not endorse his paper, we simply thought this might be a good conversation starter.
Asif was trying to tackle the issue of why India is not yet a top destination for U.S. students. I thought he made some valuable points but I also felt that there was a lot of fact checking and more research that needed to be done. Either way, I thought I would share his paper with the group to open up an honest dialogue on studying abroad in India. Please answer the following questions:
Why Should U.S. Students study in India?
What challenges do they face?
What opportunities are ahead of them?
Looking forward to your input, especially those few American students who have studied in India. Tomorrow we'll look at why Indian students should study in the U.S.
Maria Bala Studying in India gives you a different view of the world. Indians is part of the world that carries their unique identity and religious faiths wherever you go; You get Cultural Experience, traveling from North to South to East to West the Food, Languages, Art, Traditions are so different and unique. India has many religions and castes but also has people of each of these religious faiths in very large numbers and live as neighbors. India is filled with History. I myself living in the US for the past 11 years would love to learn more about India.
Thanks for the comments! India is indeed a beautiful country and holds a lot of opportunities for American students. Today I wanted to share a great report from IIE on expanding U.S. study abroad to India. Below is one small excerpt that gives us a small indication of the size of India's Higher Education system.
In addition to a large and growing population, India also has the third largest higher education system in the world, behind China and the U.S., in terms of number of students enrolled. The highly centralized system consists of over 400 institutions established and recognized by the Indian government, including 20 central universities, 215 state universities, 100 deemed universities and 13 Institutions of National Importance, which include the world-renowned Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). Created to train and develop a skilled workforce of scientists, engineers and business leaders, IITs and IIMs attract the country’s most talented and ambitious students, and admission is extremely competitive. In addition, there are over 21,000 colleges of varying degrees of quality.
Today's question is:
How do U.S. institutions expand study abroad opportunities in India?
I traveled to India about two years ago as a part of the People to People Citizen Ambassador program. While I did not "officially" study abroad, the experience truly helped positively shape my thoughts on the country and it's role in the world. I loved each place we visited (New Delhi, Agra, and Mumbai). India is truly unique and vibrant, not to mention home of the most delicious food I've ever had. I believe many students do not study in India because it is rare to hear about other U.S. students traveling to the country, therefore misperceptions or lack thereof are not addressed. Also, India may have many opportunities but students do not know what they are and how they will shape academic and professional careers compared to regions such as Europe and Latin America.
So I think two key elements (among many I'm sure) must be in place to expand study abroad in India. First, there must be a demand from U.S. students. They have to say "hey! India seems like it'd be amazing. Which programs can help get me there?" Second, those programs must highlight India's importance in global partnerships especially with the U.S. as well as the benefits you have already highlighted. Studying abroad is a fun time, but students also know that it can be an important catalyst in their professional and personal lives. From what I know about India in studies and travel, the potential for educational, cultural, and professional exchange is great. The word just has to get "out there."
The U.S.-India Higher Education Summit sounds like a great forum to bring up those kinds of questions and issues.
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Do you know what parts of the U.S.-India Higher Ed Summit will be streamed live?