Nov. 25, 2007 — Delhi University has signed on as the 22nd member of the Universitas 21 international education network, which includes the University of Virginia as the only United States member institution.
U.Va. President John T. Casteen III, currently the chairman of the U21 network, and U21’s secretary general, Jane Usherwood, travelled to India for the Nov. 19 formal signing and welcoming ceremony.
"I am delighted that Delhi University is joining Universitas 21 and feel that it is an important event in the development of the network," Casteen said on the eve of the ceremony. "We look forward very much to working with our new colleagues in the years to come."
Delhi University is one of the oldest and largest universities in India, with around 300,000 students enrolled on courses. It is the first university from the Indian subcontinent to become a member of U21, and expands the network to 13 nations. "This will give rise to opportunities to extend our research collaborations, open new possibilities for student exchange and give us all an alternative view on activities around the network," said Michael Clarke, vice principal of the University of Birmingham.
Deepak Pental, vice chancellor of Delhi University, was equally excited about the collaborative possibilities. "I am delighted that the University of Delhi formally joins the Universitas 21 network, and makes an institutional leap in its continuing commitment to internationalization," he said. "I am aware that it is the first Indian university to join this internationally-respected consortium that has been a leader in promoting research-intensive links among select universities in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia. We at Delhi University regard this partnership as a crucial step in our pursuance of successful collaborations with fraternal institutions in different parts of the world."
Universitas 21 was founded in 1997 as a network for international higher education, bringing together a collection of some of the leading research-led universities around the world.
Since then, Universitas 21 has evolved into an internationally recognized partnership, which strives to facilitate collaboration and co-operation between the member universities, creating entrepreneurial opportunities on a scale that no member would be able to achieve operating independently or through traditional bilateral alliances.
Universitas 21 comprises the following members: University of Auckland, University of Birmingham, University of British Columbia, Delhi University, University College Dublin, University of Edinburgh, Fudan University, University of Hong Kong, Korea University, McGill University, University of Glasgow, Lund University, University of Melbourne, Tecnológico de Monterrey, University of New South Wales, University of Nottingham, University of Peking, University of Queensland, Shanghai Jai Tong University, National University of Singapore, University of Virginia, Waseda University.