Building USF’s International Profile in India
June 2, 2011
Globalization is fast becoming a major focus for leading research universities around the world. With a focus on international research and teaching USF is creating an identity as a leader in global engagement. Keeping in mind the increasing importance for universities to develop an international profile, the USF system has launched a new office in India.
USF’s newest international initiative is focused on finding new opportunities for academic research, supporting current faculty work, providing links to alumni and business partners and identifying exceptional students seeking an international university experience.
USF has over 40 faculty of Indian heritage, 300 international students from India, numerous faculty conducting research in India and three summer study abroad programs that take USF students abroad. Additionally USF is home to the Center for India Studies, whose mission is to enhance academic research and curricular understanding about the subcontinent.
The USF office in India is supported by Provost Ralph Wilcox and the Regional Chancellor for USF Polytechnic, Marshall Goodman. They envision this office will create system-wide opportunities. Says Goodman, “As a system, USF offers diversity in research, academics, and economic development providing the ideal opportunity for intellectual exchange in India and among the USF system.”
Initial operations began in March of this year with the opening of an office located in Delhi, the capital city of India. USF has hired Aruna Dasgupta and Shifali Kumar, two representatives who will oversee operations. Serving as Director, Aruna previously spent nine years working at the American Embassy in Delhi as a country program coordinator. She brings a wealth of knowledge about Indian universities and international protocol. Prior to her work at the embassy, she served as an editorial consultant to agencies including UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) and WHO (World Health Organization).
Shifali is Head of Recruitment and has spent the last nine years working in international student recruitment for a London-based university where she was the Regional Director for the liaison office in India. She notes that while USF is recognized in India, her visit reinforces the numerous opportunities for international students on the campus.
They are on campus this week where they will meet with a variety of student groups, faculty and administrative offices from all four campuses to learn more about USF. “Seeing the campus and the focus on the future and research, I believe the new USF in India office will be a very good fit,” says Aruna Dasgupta.