The University of Virginia has inaugurated a new partnership with Jindal Global University – one of India’s leading private universities – to provide a new platform for student and scholar exchange, joint research on topics of global importance such as democracy and environmental sustainability, and a general expansion of UVA’s engagement in India.
UVA Provost Ian Baucom and JGU Vice Chancellor Raj Kumar signed a memorandum of understanding committing to the partnership during Kumar’s visit to Charlottesville in November with five JGU deans and other senior staff.
Baucom said that JGU, located near New Delhi, shares values with UVA of public service, academic freedom and commitment to preparing students to be productive members of society. “Jindal’s commitment to building a strong liberal arts core and focus on combining its students’ academic achievement with practical experience is particularly noteworthy and will offer our students and scholars rich opportunities,” he said.
Baucom mentioned that a university cannot exist or solve problems of today’s world in isolation within its own borders. “By engaging across boundaries with distinguished international partners like Jindal, we will substantially increase our success in expanding knowledge on, and devising effective solutions to, problems that have global dimensions such as climate change and effective health care,” he said.
Kumar said the partnership will allow students to develop a holistic understanding of the globalized world with cooperation in exchanging knowledge, perspectives and cultural experiences. “The partnership will provide transformative prospects of higher education and learning to students in both the universities and enable our faculty members to pursue joint teaching and collaborative research,” he said.
Launched in 2009, JGU has swiftly developed into one of India’s consistently top-ranked institutions with 10,000 students, a highly internationalized faculty with a 1:9 ratio to students, and a substantial budget for further growth.
UVA Vice Provost for Global Affairs Stephen Mull said that the time is ripe for expanded U.S. engagement with Indian higher education, which will be vital for universities like UVA that want to have a global impact.
“The country is the world’s biggest democracy with a population bigger than the U.S., Europe and Latin America combined,” he said, adding that India has brilliant students, scholars and entrepreneurs who want to partner on some of the world’s biggest challenges.