New York: Harvard University has unveiled an ambitious plan focusing on South Asia which envisages partnerships with institutions and organisations to advance teaching and learning in the region and increasing number of students from there.
The project entails a host of new courses and programmes through which students will be exposed South Asia’s cultures, histories, opportunities and challenges.
It will be pursued with an unprecedented degree of collaboration and coordination across the entire university, including Harvard College and Harvard’s 10 academic units.
The just announced plans stresses on further partnerships with universities and other organizations in South Asia with whom Harvard may partner and strengthening the South Asian community on the Harvard campus by expanding financial support and scholarships for students.
The university plans to enable more students and scholars from Harvard to travel to South Asia to study, teach, conduct research, and collaborate and vice versa.
It also plans to optimize and accelerate research on a broad array of topics from South Asia from ancient times to present-day economic development, health, education and governance opportunities and challenges and expand the faculty that will drive the research.
Students from South Asia represent one of the largest groups who come to Harvard from outside of the US. The numbers from India alone already exceed those from Germany, France, and Japan or the UK.
“Harvard’s approach to South Asia is one of mutual respect and collaboration. Harvard has much to learn from South Asia and we hope we can reciprocate,” said Professor Jorge I. Dominguez, Vice Provost for International Affairs and one of the architects of the South Asia project.
During the consultative process, Harvard received a number of major gifts of $1million or more specifically targeted to support its expansion of activity related to South Asia.
These include contributions from from Arvind Raghunathan, Anand Mahindra, Mala Gaonkar Haarmann, Victor J. Menezes, Vikram Gandhi, and Eshwar Das to support the South Asia Initiative.
Each of these individuals has been appointed as a member of what is known as the Harvard University South Asia Founders Club.