Washington, D.C., July 20, 2005 -- The University of California (UC) and four other U.S. universities will join with Indian institutions led by AMRITA University to enhance science and engineering education in India over a new satellite e-learning network. Funding for U.S. participation in the program will come from QUALCOMM Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Cadence Design Systems, Inc.
"It is in everyone's interest to raise the level of engineering education in the global economy," said Frieder Seible, Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering, who represented UCSD at the signing ceremony. "We expect some of the very best and brightest students participating in this program to come to the U.S. for post-graduate education, giving U.S. technology leaders such as Microsoft and QUALCOMM access to more world-class engineers. So programs like this offer benefits to India and the United States alike."
"The U.S. universities in this agreement are first-tier engineering schools that can help offset the imbalance in the quality of professors in India's fastest growing colleges and universities," said Venkat Rangan, Vice Chancellor of AMRITA University, a former professor of computer science and engineering at UCSD's Jacobs School, and a graduate of both UC Berkeley and the Indian Institute of Technology. "With the help of American professors, these satellite courses will turn more students into top-level engineers, not just for India, but potentially for Ph.D. programs and businesses in the U.S. as well."
The program will expose U.S. faculty to potential research partnerships in India, and could also help reverse the recent decline in applications to U.S. engineering schools from India and other countries.
"The number of non-U.S. nationals applying to UCSD's graduate engineering program has dropped almost 33 percent from the peak in 2002," said Ramesh Rao, Calit2's division director at UCSD. "For centers like ours that rely heavily on partnerships with global companies, globalizing our own activities is critical to sustaining the engine of innovation that we are called upon to drive. This initiative is also a living experiment in understanding the effectiveness of distance learning in an environment that is full of promixe, but also rife with pedagogical challenges."
Funding for travel and salary supplements for participating faculty will come from the private sector. QUALCOMM's corporate sponsorship ($120,000) will enable the participation of Calit2 and UCSD professors in the program.
"While headquartered in San Diego, QUALCOMM is a global company with an increasing presence in India's wireless market," said Jeff Jacobs, president of global development of QUALCOMM. "We believe it is important to support the education and training of world-class engineers who have the potential to take our business to the next level in innovation. Our company is built on the premise that wireless technology can change the way people live and work, and this partnership with U.S. and Indian institutions is empowering a new generation of future technology leaders."
"We have a long-term vision for the cause of IT education, wherein we are committed to empower students, educators and lifelong learners to achieve their fullest potential by providing greater access to the latest technologies and training," said S. Somasegar, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, on hand for the signing ceremony. "There is a pressing need today to accelerate the adoption of IT in the learning process and as a company, we are focused towards connecting the education community through solutions and powerful education initiatives such as this."
The program will focus initially on engineering and computer science, information and communication technologies, but courses will also include materials science, biotechnology and bioinformatics, nanotechnology, medical sciences, and others.
Frieder Seible, Dean, Jacobs School Length: 1:07 Ramesh Rao, UCSD Division Director, Calit2 Length: 2:45 Gretchen Kalonji, Global Development, UC Length: 2:01 Shankar Sastry, Director, CITRIS Length: 2:42 Venkat Rangan, Vice Chancellor, AMRITA University Length: 2:21 Madhavan Nair, Director, Indian Space Research Organization Length: 6:27 V.S. Ramamurthy, Secretary, Dept of Science and Technology Length: 6:03 Jeff Jacobs, QUALCOMM Length: 1:48 Dipender Saluja, Cadence Design Systems Length: 2:07 S. Somasegar, Microsoft Length: 1:03 Hunter Rawlings III, Cornell University Length: 2:31 Mark Hans, Case Western Reserve University Length: 1:23 Satish Tripathi, SUNY Buffalo Length: 1:25 Pradeep Khosla, Carnegie Mellon University Length: 1:19
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