India-US education summit a ‘very big deal’

October 12th, 2011 - 11:01 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 12 (IANS) Describing the first Indo-US Higher Education Summit being held here Thursday as “a very big deal”, a US official called it part of a continuing efforts to increase academic exchanges.

“Well, this education summit is a very big deal,” State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland told reporters Tuesday ahead of the summit co-chaired by India’s Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Georgetown University.

“This goes to our continuing effort to increase student-student exchanges; Americans living, learning, and working in India; Indians living, learning, and working here,” she said.

Sibal arrived here Tuesday to participate in the summit which will be attended by higher education leaders and government officials from the US and India, as well as private sector leaders.

The objective of the summit is to further strengthen higher education collaboration and exchange between institutions in the United States and India through exploration of topics of mutual interest such as joint degrees, research partnerships, accreditation and quality assurance, officials said.

In addition, the summit will highlight the importance of education as a pillar of the US-India Strategic Dialogue and set forth goals for deepening this aspect of our bilateral relationship in cooperation with the many excellent institutions of higher education in both countries.

The summit will feature a roundtable discussion on US-India Higher Education Cooperation, co-chaired by senior officials from the US and Indian governments.

Prominent higher education and thought leaders will speak at a plenary session and in breakout sessions on topics crucial to expanding and strengthening higher education collaboration between the two countries.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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