For a lot of university students the greatest attraction wasn’t academic programs or scholarships but merely location. New York continues to be a worldwide powerhouse in the arts, sciences and finances and students are always eager to tap into this dynamic energy. The attraction is so strong it brings in students from as far away as Hyderabad.
The university hopes to capitalize on this attraction by attracting more international students but also hopes to expose current university students to more travel abroad experiences. Mark Poisel, the associate provost of the division for student success, said that the University hopes to “enhance [student’s] experience through travel abroad” because travel abroad shows students the value of out-of-classroom experience.
The latest effort to cultivate better international relationships was a Pace University India Day celebration held at the Consulate General of India on Friday Oct. 22. The event included university professor of finance Surendra Kaushik, university provost Uday Sukhatme, the consul general of India Prabhu Dayal as well as many other university faculty whose work is closely related to scholarship in India. There were also more than 20 current university students in attendance.
The event began with a social mixer that allowed university faculty and administration to mix with consulate staff and notable members of the Indian-American community. It underlined the importance of interaction between the two parties and the close nature of the relationship. This was followed by a series of speeches to commemorate the day.
Consul general Dayal began the evening with a speech about the celebration of India Day by the university being a huge gesture of friendship that his government will reciprocate. He also named the provost as an exemplar of the Indian-American community and said his “achievements have done India proud”. Later in the night Mr. Dayal announced that provost Sukhatme is also a receiver of the Pravasi Medal, a high-ranking national honor for Indian expatriates who have achieved great successes in their lives.
Robina Schepp, university vice president of enrollment and placement, gave a short presentation about the university in which she laid out some facts about the school’s international students. She said that the university had 1100 international students who make up 11 percent of total enrollment. In particular there are 113 Indian students at Pace on temporary visas and 58 who are citizens or permanent residents.
Provost Sukhatme spoke about how he looked at education on a global perspective and that he believes that a “top-class education is not complete without international experience.” He discussed his previous experiences in getting students abroad and also suggested some unique opportunities such as a university student produced performance of an artistic piece in a major Indian city.
While the focus of the event was celebrating the achievements of the Indian-American community at the university, the bigger theme of the evening was cultivating international relationships for students. Rumit Mehta, an alumni and founder of Immersion Journeys, spoke at the evening and remarked that “living in New York does not make you international.”
While no events similar to the India Day celebration are on the calendar Mr.Poisel said that the university has been in talks with the Ministry of Education of Singapore, the Irish consulate and other foreign representatives in the hopes of developing new programs and opportunities. He added that the school is always looking for partnership opportunities for faculty exchange, attracting international students or sending current university students abroad.
Asked whether there’s a particular emphasis for international programs, Mr. Poisel replied that the university has no particular focus but is instead looking to “create pathways to a better student experience” using travel abroad.
Shrideep Murthy, a graduate student studying investment management and of Indian descent himself, said this event came at a “good time to connect to the Indian-American community” especially as “India is opening up to foreign schools.” Murthy hopes that the university is able to attract a lot of Indian students as well as extend programs to the country.
While Pace-New Delhi may be far off it’s clear that the university is committed to providing students with plenty of foreign travel experience and positioning itself globally.