NIU to participate in 2012 Indian Initiative

By Ross Hettel

The Institute of International Education selected NIU, along with 10 other universities, to participate in the 2012 Indian Initiative.

The program’s goal is to increase higher education connections between U.S. and Indian institutions, according to a news release from NIU Today.

“The [IIE] wants U.S. universities that have a high commitment to internationalizing their institutions, and we certainly meet that criteria,” said Deborah Pierce, associate provost for International Programs at NIU.

NIU applied for the program last year, but was not selected.

“Ninety institutions applied [last year],” Pierce said. “Ten got in; we were not one of those 10.”

The university will see many benefits from the program, Pierce said. NIU will receive professional guidance on developing relationships in India, as well as a mentor on educational cooperation from the program’s advisory board.

The university will also participate in webinars with other experts and schools from India. There have already been two webinars so far, Pierce said.

Additionally, a representative from NIU will participate in a study tour of India at the end of January.

Promod Vohra, dean of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, encourages this relationship with India.

Vohra said he wants to see an easy migration for international students, both for current NIU students going overseas to study or work and for international students coming to NIU to study.

“I want to improve the quality of students that are coming from India,” Vohra said. “And we want to increase our enrollment of the graduate programs.”