Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and University of Arizona join hands in providing impetus to education and research

New Delhi: In their endeavor to offer globally relevant world-class programs across a broad spectrum of disciplines, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and the University of Arizona (UArizona) are embarking on a multidisciplinary partnership in education and research.

In one of the largest ever international university collaborations in India, a Letter of Intent (LoI) was signed today by Chancellor of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, and Dr. Lisel Folks, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, the University of Arizona.

The LoI seeks to initiate multidisciplinary collaborations for the highest standard curriculums leading to integrated and dual degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. The key disciplines include Engineering, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Social Sciences, Medicine, Public Health, and Agriculture. The program will enhance Amrita as the study abroad site for the students of the UArizona and vice versa. This will engage more than 200 students per year for a minimum of one semester at the two partner university.

Dr. Lisel Folks, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of Arizona, said: “The University of Arizona shares Amrita’s commitment to enriching life for all, its dedication to innovation, and its spirit of compassion. We look forward to working together across multiple disciplines to expand human potential and to care for the world around us.”

Dr. Venkat Rangan, Vice Chancellor of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, said: “Inspired by Amma’s leadership, Amrita’s profound mission of imparting Education for Life to its students and carrying out Compassion driven Research for humanitarian benefit & sustainable development will both be further enriched with global impact by this synergistic and strategic partnership with internationally renowned University of Arizona.”

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has been recently recommended by the MHRD as an Institution of Eminence (IoE). The IoE mandates that Indian universities develop innovative programs of high quality that will be internationally recognised. This LoI signing will pave the way for developing such high quality educational degree programs at an international level. This LoI will provide the opportunity to initiate the upcoming academic session with unique, interdisciplinary programs in areas such as Engineering leading to; (1) 2 + 2 (BTech. from Amrita and B.S. from UArizona); (2) 2+2+1 (BTech. from Amrita and B.S. from UArizona with direct admission to UArizona for a 1 year MS program); (3) 1+1 (Masters from Amrita and UArizona). For example, a student may receive a B.Tech degree in Mechanical Engineering from Amrita and a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering or a B.S in Material Science from UArizona. Therefore, this revolutionary educational initiative will provide Amrita students, from a variety of disciplines, a gateway to receive complimentary degrees and direct admission to graduate programs in the U.S. These unique, collaborative curriculums will also open doors to various opportunities to attain competitive U.S. based internships and jobs, resulting in a broadening of future placement prospects for Amrita students.

Dr. Maneesha Sudheer, Dean of International Programs at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, said: “Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has developed a broad range of international partnerships with the best universities across the world for its academic and research activities. We are looking forward to engaging in dual-degree programs, study abroad opportunities, and research association with the University of Arizona. These programs will be moulded to achieve the key philosophies of Amrita; (1) Education for Life, (2) Compassion Driven Research, (3) Global Engagement. This provides an opportunity for Indian and International students to experience the value system of India’s rich culture”

The LoI will also lay the foundation for exchange programs for faculty and students – undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral; collaborative partnership and participation in Amrita’s multidisciplinary experiential learning program in rural India – Live-in-Labs®; joint research projects; and joint research centers in strategic areas relevant to both UArizona and Amrita.

A major goal of the partnership will be to engage in translational research to develop solutions for global sustainability and humanitarian challenges. In the future, both universities will expand to initiate collaborative education and research programs in areas such as Nursing, Pharmacy, Communication Studies, Humanities, Arts and Sciences, and Management

The 11 member delegation from the University of Arizona includes Dr. Brent White, Vice Provost for Global Affairs; Dr. Iman Hakim, Dean of the College of Public Health; Dr. John Paul Jones, Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Dr. Marc Miller, Dean of the College of Law; Dr. Marylyn McEwen, Associate Dean of Global Nursing; Dr. Shane Burgess, Vice President for Agriculture Sciences; Dr. Anil Agarwal, Assistant Vice President of South Asian Affairs; Dr. Carol Gregorio, Vice Dean of Innovation and Development; Dr. Connie Miller, Chair of General Nursing and Health, and Dr. Eric Butcher, Professor, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.

The University of Arizona is a top ranked public research university in Tucson, Arizona and is classified as a Carnegie Foundation Research 1 institution. It is ranked 104th in the world by Times Higher Education’s 2020 World University Rankings. UArizona is known for advancing frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. The University has been a part of every planetary mission with NASA and is the fourth most awarded public university by NASA for research.