UC Santa Cruz has signed a memorandum of understanding with Punjab Technical University in India to collaborate on PTU’s creation of a new institute that will foster educational collaboration between the two schools. Chancellor George Blumenthal signed the agreement during a trip to India that is part of UCSC's burgeoning international outreach effort.
The planned Institute of Excellence, located in the state of Punjab in northwest India, will help educate India's top students and will provide opportunities for some students to study at UCSC as undergraduates or graduate students.
"UC Santa Cruz is delighted to partner with PTU on this initiative," said Blumenthal. "This collaboration will increase UCSC's global presence, diversify our student body, and help India provide top-quality educational opportunities for its students."
The institute will initially focus on technical degree programs, including engineering, bioengineering and bioinformatics, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, network and digital technology, robotics, and technology and information management—all fields in which UCSC excels.
"Our programs and our partnerships with Silicon Valley companies provide a wealth of opportunity for students," said Art Ramirez, dean of the Jack Baskin School of Engineering. "The Institute of Excellence has the potential to bring first-rate students from India to the Baskin School of Engineering, and it's a way to globalize our educational impact."
In addition to being a study-abroad destination for students, UCSC will provide the institute with curriculum support and advising, faculty training, and other support. UCSC faculty will also be invited to teach at the institute. UCSC representatives will join academic, industry, and government representatives on the institute's seven-member governing council.
"This agreement opens doors for student and faculty exchanges, for research collaborations, and for industry partnerships," said UCSC Foundation Board Trustee Anu Luther, special advisor to the chancellor for international initiatives, who is accompanying Blumenthal in India. "This agreement is an indication of what's possible as UCSC reaches out to the global community."