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US-India HE event builds trade appetite

Many US universities convened with Indian institutions, trade bodies and US government representatives in DC last month to discuss ways to build education and research ties with India, in an event titled the US-India Knowledge Exchange.

(L-R) Sannam S4 CEO, Adrian Mutton, USISPF CEO, Mukesh Aghi, Arunish Chawla and Nilkanth Avhad from the Embassy of India USA. Photo: USIKE

A high-level delegation will travel to India later in 2018 to encourage local engagement

Organised by market-entry experts, Sannam S4 and the US–India Strategic Partnership Forum, the day-long event was deemed successful in developing paths for greater cooperation between US and Indian higher education.

According to Sannam S4 founder Adrian Mutton, there was “significant interest” in expanding research and collaboration activities between the two countries.

“It is the people to people ties which will underpin future relations”

“The importance of higher education in cementing a long-term positive relationship between the United States and India cannot be understated,” Mutton explained.

“It is the people to people ties which emerge from Indian and American students studying in each others country, faculty exchange, research collaboration and the goodwill of expanding alumni networks which will underpin future relations.”

USIKE will now work with a range of key stakeholders from both countries to identify new projects.

Nilkanth Avhad, economic counselor at the Embassy of India, pointed out the importance of bilateral ties. “The government of India’s total spending on higher education currently totals $5 billion. In contrast, the 200,000 Indian students studying in the United States brought in a revenue of $6.5 billion,” he commented.

Discussion points included higher education reform in India, challenges and opportunities to cross-border collaboration and funding for US-India research and development.

Regional meetings will also occur in Seattle, New York, Atlanta, Houston, San Francisco and Chicago at the end of August.

A high-level delegation will travel to India later in 2018, where USIKE will seek to engage local Indian institutions and senior government stakeholders.

Tata Institute of Social Sciences and OP Jindal were the two Indian universities that attended the inaugural event.

“We have not actively publicised India participation as we were focused on ensuring there was strong US interest at the outset,” Douglas Sessions, vice president, Client & Stakeholder Relations, North America at Sannam S4, explained.

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