In an era defined by globalisation academic partnerships between universities across borders are more crucial than ever. Recently, Canada's York University and India's O.P. Jindal Global University solidified their commitment to international collaboration by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This academic alliance is not only a testament to the universities' dedication to fostering global education but also a step towards mutual growth and knowledge exchange.
Noteworthy thing about this collaboration is its focus on strengthening ties between Canada and India. The India Immersion Programme, a part of this partnership, seeks to give Canadian students a deeper understanding of India - its rich history, vibrant culture, and its role in shaping the global landscape. Recognising the importance of exposing students to diverse perspectives and markets, a Pan-India entrepreneurship boot camp is also in the works. This programme promises to provide talented students with invaluable insights into one of the world's largest business and consumer markets.
The launch of a global research seed fund is yet another promising aspect of this collaboration. This fund will facilitate research collaborations between leading universities, industries, government agencies, and NGOs in priority countries, including India. Such collaborations are instrumental in addressing complex global challenges.
Equity and inclusion are at the forefront of York University's agenda, mirroring the ethos of many prestigious Indian institutions. Furthermore, the partnership extends to addressing one of the world's most pressing concerns - water sustainability.
Prof. (Dr.) Rhonda L. Lenton, the eighth President and Vice-Chancellor of York University, and Prof. (Dr.) C Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University, announced a slew of joint initiatives as part of the MoU. These include the launch of an India Immersion Program for Canadian students to enable them to better understand India as a country and its growth story.
Highlighting the importance of progressive universities in today’s world, Prof. (Dr.) Rhonda L. Lenton, said: “As the world recovers from a global pandemic, progressive universities like York University and O.P. Jindal Global University have an opportunity to play a greater role in facilitating global engagement to address incredibly complex challenges – from rising geopolitical tensions, economies destabilised by inflation, and surging temperatures that threaten the demise of our planet – all the while navigating the rapid deployment of advanced technologies such as AI and automation. India and Canada are natural partners to lead in this new global context.”
Said Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar: “In India’s quest to create a global arena of knowledge exchange and opportunities, Canada is an important partner. The collaboration with York University, Canada’s leading university, is a significant milestone in our institutional journey. Recent data from the Canadian Bureau for International Education shows that nearly 34% of Canada’s international students come from India. There is a need to encourage growth in the number of Canadian students visiting India in near future. As India’s leading private university, this relationship will not only boost the association between our universities but also strengthen the long-term educational relationship between India and Canada.”
He added: “In the field of education, India and Canada have a close and long-standing relationship. Higher education and research partnerships are a critical part of the Canada-India bilateral relationship. As is natural for two countries that share so many diplomatic and cultural associations, areas such as student mobility, research partnerships and educational exchanges are of ever-increasing productive cooperation. Since our founding in 2009, our vision has been focused on building India’s first ‘Global University.’ We have proven our commitment to this vision by instilling internationalism in every aspect of higher education, ensuring a global learning experience in an international setting.”