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Academics at DU get an international nudge

Delhi University colleges are offering exchange programmes to help students get international exposure. Living on campus | College profiles

delhi Updated: Jun 20, 2012 01:49 IST
Shaswati Das
Shaswati Das
Hindustan Times

Conventional academics at Delhi University (DU) are gradually being given a makeover. To prevent courses from having a ‘straight jacketed’ feel, the university provides international exposure to students across colleges.

Selection in these exchange programmes, however, is not easy, said university officials.

“We have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with different countries for these exchange programmes. Selection is done through a proper procedure, wherein we take into account the student’s academic performance,” said a senior DU official, adding, “If the programme is conducted individually by a college then they have their own set of rules but otherwise, the university appoints a selection committee.”

During the last academic year, several colleges were homes to students from other countries.

Lady Sri Ram College (LSR) played host to a group of students from Ohio Wesleyan University. These students, who were from across disciplines such as political science, psychology and journalism, thrashed out ideas promulgated by MK Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

This short-term course had 12 students from LSR, eight students and three faculty members from Ohio.

“We found parallels between the ideas of Gandhi and King. The team from Ohio then came and took the discussion further. So, we started this programme which provided a very rich insight into ideas of peace and conflict,” said Kanika Khandelwal, professor, Lady Sri Ram College.

There are many other opportunities for students stepping into DU to explore academics beyond the precincts of the university. DU officials said the Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Lot 15 for India, which gives Indian students an opportunity to explore academics in Europe, also extends to undergraduate scholars in DU.

Several other colleges such as Ramjas, Sri Ram College of Commerce, Miranda House and St. Stephen’s College have active international exchange programmes as well.

“Currently, we have three active programmes with Brown University, Rutgers and Middlebury University in USA along with a programme in Paris and one in Soka University in Japan. Students from these universities come every year and our students get a chance to participate in various discussions and activities with them,” said Karen Gabriel, professor, St. Stephen’s College.

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First Published: Jun 19, 2012 23:25 IST