Academy to address India's higher education needs

June 14, 2012

India's government wants 20 percent of its young people to have access to higher education by 2020. In order to accomplish this, India needs to train and recruit at least 1 million new faculty members and higher education leaders. To meet this goal and several others, U.S. President Barack Obama and India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh, launched the 21st Century Knowledge Initiative.

Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) is involved with Rutgers University and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai as an award recipient from the Obama-Singh Initiative. Penn State’s role will be through the CSHE, which will develop an Academic Leadership Academy in collaboration with Indian peers and host an India Higher Education Academy in 2013 at Penn State, designed to address the needs of higher education in India.

“To meet America’s own higher education leadership needs, the CSHE launched an Academic Leadership Academy to prepare our future leaders,” said Robert Hendrickson, Penn State professor of education and director of CSHE. “This summer we will convene the third annual academy with a full class of academic administrators from a variety of colleges and universities in the U.S.”

Hendrickson said this academy will serve as a model for the India academy. It is expected that three to four vice chancellors and five academic administrators from India will attend the 2012 academy at Penn State to participate and observe in preparation for India’s academy and serve as an advisory committee.

“Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education is uniquely well-suited to help India increase its capacity to meet the higher education needs of its people,” said David Monk, dean of the College of Education. “The center has existed for more than 40 years and welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with Indian colleagues.”

“The critical need to rapidly build human capacity is palpable amongst all the emerging economies, including India,” said Michael Adewumi, vice provost for Global Programs. “It is an area of strength for Penn State and I am delighted that our premier Center for Higher Education is participating in this exciting opportunity.”

Other future collaborations include the development of a master’s degree in higher education administration. Another special focus will be on educational policy analysis.

"Contributors from across Penn State including the Smeal College of Business are thrilled and honored to support the ongoing transformation of India's higher education enterprise," said Arvind Rangaswamy, senior associate dean for research and faculty at Smeal. "Penn State will be a key player in training the leaders of India's academic institutions to better prepare their talented students to serve the needs of the Indian and global economies."

For more information, contact Elizabeth Brady at or 814-321-2967.

Last Updated June 14, 2012