Brown and India’s St. Stephen’s College Expand Student Exchanges

March 29, 2010  |  Media Contact: Richard Lewis |  401-863-2476
Graduate students from St. Stephen’s College in India will come to Brown University for studies, and additional Brown undergraduates will study at St. Stephen’s under an expanded agreement between the two schools. Brown President Ruth J. Simmons and St. Stephen’s Principal Rev. Dr. Valson Thampu signed the agreement on the St. Stephen’s campus in Delhi.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University and St. Stephen’s College in India have expanded a student exchange program under which additional Brown students will study in India and graduate students from St. Stephen’s will begin coming to Brown.

In a signing ceremony attended by Brown President Ruth J. Simmons and St. Stephen’s Principal Rev. Dr. Valson Thampu on the St. Stephen’s campus in Delhi, the schools agreed that one master’s candidate from St. Stephen’s will study at Brown possibly beginning with the 2011-12 academic year. In addition, up to 15 Brown undergraduate students — an increase of 50 percent — will be able to study for one year at St. Stephen’s, taking courses emphasizing Indian culture, languages, literature and politics.

Brown and St. Stephen’s have enjoyed an educational partnership since 1991. The revised agreement changes the academic contours of the relationship by creating an opportunity for St. Stephen’s graduate students to study at Brown.

The agreement widens Brown’s educational commitment to and involvement in India, a growing world power with 1.2 billion people and a recognized leader in science and engineering. It also coincides with the University’s Year of India series of major public lectures, art exhibitions, and academic conferences to advance understanding of India’s people, culture, economy, and politics.

“Academic exchange and study abroad are of great benefit to university communities,” Simmons said. “I am delighted to be here to sign this new agreement with St. Stephen’s, and I look forward to a long and productive relationship with this important institution.”

“St. Stephen’s College,” Thampu said, “takes its academic partnership with Brown very seriously both for its academic potential and for its symbolic resonance in a globalizing world. To educate is to liberate. This involves breaking down mental walls. Cross-cultural learning experiences are invaluable from this perspective. The exchange/study-abroad arrangements St. Stephen’s College has with various universities is also a testimony to its national and international standing as a center of excellence.”

Rajiv Vohra, dean of the faculty at Brown and a graduate of St. Stephen’s, said the partnership between the schools would foster a greater appreciation and understanding of each country’s culture and could spawn unique opportunities to engage in cutting-edge scientific research.

The agreement takes effect July 1, 2010, and lasts for three years with the option to renew.

The schools also pledged to enrich the academic programs and research interests of their respective institutions by seeking to establish visits between faculty, research staff and graduate students. Such exchanges could include invitations to lecture, conduct seminars or colloquia and participate in other academic activities at each institution.

Brown has widespread academic links with India. More than three dozen Indian students are currently enrolled at Brown, and 13 faculty of Indian citizenry spanning arts, humanities and the sciences teach at the university. In addition, more than a dozen Brown students attend school in India as part of the University’s international study program.

Brown University

Brown University, a member of the Ivy League, is renowned for the quality of its teaching, research, and student-centered curriculum in which students are asked to be architects of their own educations within the framework of their concentrations. Founded in 1764, Brown is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. With 6,013 undergraduates, 1,832 graduate students, 416 medical students, and 686 full-time faculty, Brown provides both the close mentoring relationships characteristic of a liberal arts college and the intellectual excitement of a research-intensive university. More than 85,000 Brown alumni, in fields from business to the arts to public service and beyond, are making a difference in the world every day.

St. Stephen’s College, Delhi

Founded in 1881, St. Stephen’s College has, over the decades, grown in stature and earned for itself a formidable reputation as a center of excellence, driven by a holistic vision of education, a national outlook and commitment to universal values. As a result of its uncompromising focus on high-quality student-teacher relationships, St. Stephen’s has chosen to remain small in size, even as the best students from all over the country compete to find a place within. Currently, the St. Stephen’s College community comprises 1,200 junior members (students) and 75 senior members (teachers). The College alumni constitute a veritable “hall of fame” and serve with distinction at national and international levels in diverse fields. St. Stephen’s is a constituent college of the University of Delhi.

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