U.S.-India Higher Education Summit: A 21st Century Conversation

Posted by Ann Stock
October 13, 2011

Today, I joined U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in kicking off the first-ever U.S.-India Higher Education Summit at Georgetown University. The Summit, which was co-hosted by Secretary Clinton and Indian Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal, was first announced during President Obama's trip to India last November.

Today's events allow us to explore how government, universities, and the private sector can work together to create innovative and sustainable partnerships. The Summit provides a platform for government and education leaders from both countries to outline their vision for 21st century education engagement to more than 300 leaders from academia, non-governmental organizations, foundations and the private-sector. We also reached new audiences both at home and abroad by both live steaming the event and engaging them via Twitter, where people posed questions to panelists.

This unprecedented event also highlights the importance of education between our two countries. Academic exchange programs provide deep roots for our countries' relationship. Our ties are anchored by the more than 12,000 alumni of U.S. Department of State's public diplomacy programs in India, the 104,897 Indian students studying in the United States in 2010, and the more than 2 million Indian-Americans living in the United States. And the Fulbright Program has laid the foundation for this relationship since its inception in 1950. Today's events are the next step in developing our relationship.

I co-chaired a roundtable with India's Secretary of Higher Education focusing on a strategic vision for the future of our countries' higher education relationship. We heard from the most respected leaders in the field on how this relationship fits into a global strategy, while examining the opportunities and challenges ahead.

As Secretary Clinton said this morning, "We want our relationship between these two great democracies to be as interconnected as possible at every level. Yes, government to government, but that is just the beginning and is clearly not the most important of the lasting collaborations that we seek."

Thanks to today's Summit, I'm truly confident that we are well on our way to reaching the Secretary's vision of a truly 21st century bilateral relationship.



Arun S.
New York, USA
October 17, 2011

Arun S. in New York writes:

Nice summary. I enjoyed being at this (amazing) summit, both for the formal sessions and the wealth of information from informal conversations between sessions and at the receptions. Probably the most useful 1.5 days I have spent in a long time, with a remarkable concentration of intellect and experience.

There was an interesting contrast between the longer-term ideal of scaling higher education for the masses in India and the short-run focus on "entry by top universities" (like NYU) that the participant mix reflected. It seems like getting creative with technology-based delivery has to be part of the solution, and it will be fascinating to see what socio-technical infrastructures for the delivery of higher education emerge over the coming years.

Look forward to the next one in India!


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