They discuss India’s trade liberalisation in class, invite historian Ramachandra Guha on campus and send 10 students to India for summer internships ever year. And it will be the ‘Year of India’ from August 2009 to June 2010.
Clearly, India is the flavour at the 245-year-old US-based Brown University, a member of the Ivy League.
Officials from the university in Rhode Island are now in India for two weeks — to woo students to their campus, meet alumni for fund-raising activities and explore research collaborations. It has around 200 alumni in India.
“With the rise of India in power, growth, influence and quality of education system, we recognised that we owe it to our students to get greater presence of Indians in our student body and curriculum,” said Ronald Margolin, vice-president for international advancement.
Not so long ago, only second- and third-tier US colleges came to India for students. But in the last two years, Ivy League universities — Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth and University of Pennsylvania — have been coming.
Currently, Brown has 100 Indian students on campus — that’s 10 per cent of its student population. This year, the university had 200 applications from 90 Indian schools. “Last year, we accepted 26 under-graduate students; there were 20 in 2007,” said Margolin.
The staff is visiting schools and colleges in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai. There are no plans to set up campus here, Clyde Briant, vice-president for research, said.
“But we are working towards collaborations with the IITs and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in any research area,” he said.