Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Global and Education Hub, which comprises both public and private colleges and universities in the state, has signed a pair of new international partnership agreements developed to promote the PA schools to students in India while providing a variety of exchange and research opportunities to students and faculty from here, as well.
The initiative, which began nearly seven years ago, already has resulted in the establishment of a pair of educational centers in Mumbai and Bangalore to strengthen collaborations between Pennsylvania and India institutions.
New agreements have been signed with Jeh and Ness Wadia of the Wadia Group and Neerja Birla of the Aditya Birla Educational Trust. They are described as “purely academic partnerships” intended to create strategic alliances and partnerships among the organizations and the participating colleges and universities that are members of the State System and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP).
Current participating schools are Bloomsburg, California, Indiana, Kutztown, Millersville, Slippery Rock, Shippensburg and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania; Gwynedd Mercy University; Harrisburg University of Science & Technology; Valley Forge Military College; York College; the Community College of Philadelphia; and Montgomery County Community College. Participating partners frequently change, depending upon program needs.
The agreements with the Wadia Group and Aditya Birla Educational Trust call for participation in pre-university programs in schools in India; student and faculty exchanges; academic partnerships, including research, program development and the offering of summer courses and programs; pre-medical/medical training in the health sciences; and professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators, including training in academic governance and leadership.
The Wadia Group’s Modern Education Society (MES) operates colleges and institutes in Pune and Mumbai that are known for excellence in education, sports and extra-curricular activities. The Wadia Group also established prestigious teaching hospitals that specialize in the care of women and children. A corollary agreement with Go Airlines, a Wadia subsidiary, allows participating Pennsylvania schools to provide professional development for GoAir employees and administrators in human resource management, cybersecurity, data analytics and other business practices.
The Aditya Birla Education Trust operates the Aditya Birla World Academy, an international school; the Aditya Birla Integrated School, which serves children with special needs; and Mpower, a center for mental health education. The Aditya Birla Education Academy works with teachers, with the goal of equipping them with “cutting-edge skills and modern tools to enhance their abilities and modes of teaching” as well as preparing them to take on leadership roles in schools, colleges and universities.