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It is well known that US universities respect Indian institutions and eagerly welcome the thousands of students that they send to the United States. It is also true that most Indian institutions do not have formal exchange agreements with specific US universities.
Recognizing this gap, the governments of India and the United States signed the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative in 2013 to strengthen academic collaboration between institutions of the two countries. While this initiative is time-bound and limited to a few fields such as Energy, Climate Change & Environmental Studies; Education & Educational Reform; Public Health; and Sustainable Development & Community Development, the larger point is clear.
The time is ripe for Indian institutions to pursue exchange agreements with US colleges and universities.
We can advise both parties through the entire process: from assessing the strengths and gaps of the Indian institution; performing US university and field of study selection using our proprietary method; preparing marketing materials to contacting target US universities to gauge interest; setting up the exchange agreement and once established, monitoring its service levels for at least a year.
A typical agreement could include creating a summer semester program for American students to attend at the Indian institution as exchange students, offering internships to American students with select Indian companies that recruit at the institution's placement cell, and the right to recommend top Indian performers to the US institution for automatic admission at the graduate level. Other activities may include faculty exchanges, seminars and even research collaboration.
The Indian institution benefits in five ways:
- Its prestige is enhanced because it has now partnered with a US university. This fact could be used in marketing materials to attract new Indian and foreign students. Such collaboration may be the only way to counter the threat from competing US universities directly planning to open offshore campuses in India.
- It can earn valuable foreign exchange from American exchange students and through research collaboration.
According to Fox News, the Institute of International Education is working to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad by 2019. To reach the goal, IIE will focus on recruiting more low-income students and others who have not participated in high numbers. Already, 160 US colleges and universities have committed to participate. The campaign, dubbed Generation Study Abroad, seeks to have 600,000 U.S. students studying abroad annually in five years in either credit or noncredit programs — compared with the 295,000 students who did so in the 2011-12 school year.
- It has the opportunity to send top-flight Indian faculty to the US partner university for seminars, exchanges, research or training.
- It has a chance to provide a sure path for top Indian students to attend US partner universities for graduate education. This lowers the stress levels of Indian students from having to select schools and programs which often results in lower ROI.
- It can work towards establishing dual-degree programs with the US institution in which students can complete a part of their education in India and then proceed to the US to complete their education. This is even more value to the Indian student than point #4 above. For an example of how this would work, look at how NIIT has teamed up with the University of Missouri.
The US institution benefits in several ways:
- The 2015 Open Doors Report finds that while China remains the top country of origin of international students in the U.S., India’s growth outpaced China’s for the first time. Students from India increased by 29.4 percent to a record high of 132,888. And there are so many US universities that are eager to recruit these students who often pay full tuition for the duration of their studies and make invaluable contributions to the student body. Having a partnership with an Indian institution raises the US university's profile in India and helps attract the best and brightest to it, rather than the competition.
- Indian faculty from top institutions are eager for international exposure to teach and conduct research. We have helped a large state university in the South East recruit an adjunct professor from India to teach for an entire semester in return for sending a faculty member back to India on a reciprocal basis. These faculty exchanges can lead to US professors teaming up with highly trained Indian faculty to conduct research under their direction, at a fraction of the cost in the US.
- One of the fastest growing offerings at US institutions is the "Semester Abroad" program. According to Fox News,
the Institute of International Education is working to double the
number of U.S. students studying abroad by 2019. To reach the goal, IIE
will focus on recruiting more low-income students and others who have
not participated in high numbers. Already, 160 US colleges and
universities have committed to participate. The campaign, dubbed
Generation Study Abroad, seeks to have 600,000 U.S. students studying
abroad annually in five years in either credit or noncredit programs —
compared with the 295,000 students who did so in the 2011-12 school
Top Indian engineering colleges have excellent co-op relationships with India's top engineering and IT companies. A semester abroad program at an Indian partner institution can bring valuable revenue to the US university while also enhancing student satisfaction.
Why work with Rao Advisors
We are an American firm, led by a US citizen. We understand both the Indian and US sides well. Our founder's deep knowledge of the United States - having lived in the US for over 26 years - combined with his management consulting expertise will be an invaluable resource to Indian institutions pursuing academic collaboration with US universities.
The fact that he grew up in India until he went to graduate school in the US in 1986 plus the fact that he has excellent relationships with various Indian institutions, is valuable experience that US universities can count on.
Click here to know more about our founder.
Additionally, our firm has contacts at various US universities and agencies. Our network of counselors are all alumni of graduate programs at some of the best schools in the United States.
Our mission is to provide high quality, ethical and responsive advice - whether to an institution or to a retail student. We always aim higher.
For more information, please contact us.