VCU Joins Education Trade Mission to India – VCU News
VCU was one of 25 US colleges and universities represented on the trip organized by the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. The mission participants visited the cities of Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi from September 12 to 16.
“Our participation in the education trade mission represents the priority VCU places on India and the great potential for academic and research collaboration as well as student mobility,” said Jill E. Blondin, Ph.D. , associate vice-rector for global initiatives.
Fradkin said VCU is considering different ways to partner with schools in India, from research and one-plus-one master’s degrees to a reciprocal exchange of students to study abroad.
“I hope there will be opportunities for more Indian students as we grow our Indian student population, both in the graduate and undergraduate population,” she said. “And maybe also opportunities for our American students to study abroad in India.”
Fradkin said it was important for VCU to foster relationships with Indian universities because of the widespread innovation that occurs in these schools and “we are a university of innovation”. Additionally, in fall 2022, Fradkin said India was the country sending the most students to the United States, overtaking China, which was the pre-COVID leader in student mobility in the United States. .
“It’s just a very key market because we want to grow our international population,” Fradkin said. “And so, we are giving our domestic students a chance to travel without even traveling, because they would have these international students in their class.”
Fradkin said she was impressed with the appreciation Indian students and families had for American education during the mission. In India, students follow narrower academic pathways at university than in the United States – for example, engineering students only study engineering. Students in the United States can study more broadly, she said.
“I think in American education, it’s a bit more collaborative and it’s more of a dialogue between faculty and students,” Fradkin said. “And I think that’s why Indian families and students are very interested in this American education.”
While Fradkin said she had been to India 20 times, this was the second time she had traveled on behalf of VCU, the first time being a delegation she attended with VCU President Michael Rao at the summer course. During this trip, she attended two fairs, one in Mumbai which had over 1,400 students and the other in Delhi which had around 1,100 students. The fairs have been virtual for two years, so it was the first time since the pandemic that students could meet American universities one-on-one.
“There’s definitely a hunger out there,” Fradkin said.
She said she also met with members of the US Embassy during her stay in India.
“The United States Embassy works very hard in India to help students apply for their visas and to help students have the opportunity to study in the states,” Fradkin said.
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