What exactly will UPenn’s role be in this? To what extent (perhaps a rough percentage-wise break-up) will Penn be involved in delivering the programme?
We have committed to providing key input into the general design of academic components of the YIF, getting Penn faculty to help with teaching, and contributing to the oversight of the educational quality of the programme, leading to the co-issuance of the YIF graduation certificate.
Has Penn been involved in designing the course? If yes: the course topics indicate that the programme is going to fill some competency gaps which graduates from Indian universities generally have. What’s your comment to this? What substantially more will the YIF do?
We have been actively involved with YIF’s leadership in shaping the overall concept. The items articulated in YIF’s Design Principles, as well as the general structure of the course and their learning activities and outcomes reflect what we all feel are areas of learning and exploration from which fellows will benefit greatly. These components seek to deliver a broad, holistic, and integrative educational experience to the fellows, something that is perhaps not so readily available in Indian tertiary education today.
What are your expectations from the fellows after they complete the fellowship?
Our expectation is that they go forth to do great things! Some will invariably head into postgraduate degree programmes in the very best institutions worldwide. Others will likely head into jobs with leading global companies, while still others will respond to a call to serve in the public sector.
Is this a step towards greater academic collaboration between Penn and the International Foundation for Research & Education’s (IFRE’s) university in future? Do you have any plans for full-fledged degree programmes with it? (YIF is the flagship programme of IFRE)
We envision that our work in the YIF will indeed grow and expand into working together on the founding and implementation of Ashoka University.
Our partnership with IFRE springs from the common recognition that this generation of Indian youth and beyond is ready for a new form of education, one that embraces a broad and liberal educational experience, combined with exceptional opportunities for technical education. The model draws from the best of Indian and US higher education. We also recognise that the greatest value we can deliver in this partnership is to help position Ashoka University’s degree programmes to be among the world’s leading degree programmes.