Brodhead meets Indian Minister

Duke is making another move to maintain its position as a frontrunner in global education.

Kapil Sibal, India’s human resource development minister, traveled to Washington, D.C. last Thursday to meet with President Richard Brodhead as well as the presidents of Boston, Georgetown, Harvard and Yale universities and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The meeting served to help all parties better understand mutual interests rather than to work out specific plans or partnerships, Brodhead said. He noted that Duke can benefit from developing such relationships.

“First of all, we already have many international students, and for Duke to be known around the world is very important to Duke in terms of attracting top talent to our student body and faculty,” Brodhead said. “But second, the world is an interesting place, and a university that’s holed up in itself is going to miss a lot of interesting developments.”

But the universities represented at Thursday’s meeting are not the only ones seeking global connections.

The Institute of International Education, one of the world’s most prominent international education organizations, announced Oct. 16 that it would launch the Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education. CIPHE will begin its International Academic Partnerships Program later this year. The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, seeks to increase the number of partnerships between universities and colleges in the United States and those in India and China.

“The research university of the future is going to be the university that has the ability to operate on a global stage,” said Michael Schoenfeld, Duke’s vice president for public affairs and government relations.

Daniel Obst, director of membership and higher education services at the IIE, said program funding will go toward the formation of an expert advisory group and study tours in China and India for 20 pilot institutions. The program will also provide necessary training activities and materials for the 20 institutions as well as develop an online portal to provide similar resources to other universities.

The IIE is currently in the process of developing application and nomination forms for the pilot group institutions. Obst said the application process will begin later this year.

“One thing that we’re aiming at is to identify institutions that don’t have a lot of experience abroad,” Obst said. “We want a diverse group of institutions, but all with a keen interest in one of the target countries.”

The two-year program will be divided so that one pilot group will focus on India during the first year, and the other pilot group will explore China during the second year.

Obst said the IIE has already received hundreds of inquiries from colleges and universities looking to participate in the program.

“I feel like we’re meeting a very important need based on the feedback we’ve already received,” he said.

Duke, along with several other U.S. colleges, has recognized the value of such foreign partnerships by working on strengthening its relationship with China and India in the past.

Throughout the last 25 years, the University has largely focused on bringing the world to Duke by increasing the number of international students, offering more financial aid to those students and nurturing partnerships with institutions abroad, Schoenfeld said.

“Now, the next phase is to bring Duke to the world,” he said. “We have one of the great names in higher education, [and] we have lot of people who want to connect with Duke… so we have the ability to be very selective and very judicious in making those relationships.”

Last October, Brodhead traveled to India with the intent to strengthen Duke’s international ties. The president was joined by Schoenfeld, Blair Sheppard, dean of the Fuqua School of Business, Prasad Kasibhatla, associate dean for international programs at the Nicholas School of the Environment and Bruce Kuniholm, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy.

In India, officials discussed various issues pertaining to Duke, including Fuqua’s Cross-Continent program, Duke’s service learning and study abroad programs, Sanford’s collaboration with the Indian Administrative Service and the possible expansion of Duke’s Talent Identification Program for middle and high-school students.

“I think all our schools to various degrees are exploring potential options in India for academic programs,” Kasibhatla said. “We’re talking to various institutions in India as a follow-up to that visit. However, we’re very much in the exploratory stages still.”


Share and discuss “Brodhead meets Indian Minister” on social media.