Progressive Universities Essential to Facilitate Global Engagement to Address Complex Challenges, says Canada’s York University VC, Prof. Dr. Rhonda L. Lenton

New Delhi (India), September 16: Professor (Dr.) Rhonda L. Lenton, the eighth President and Vice-Chancellor of Canada’s York University addressed the media here along with Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University to announce a slew of joint initiatives.

They have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support student mobility opportunities and academic collaboration. The partnership includes an India Immersion Programme as its important for Canadian students to understand India, its growth story.

As the world recovers from a global pandemic, progressive universities like York University and JGU have an opportunity to play a greater role in facilitating global engagement to address incredibly complex challenges – from rising geopolitical tensions, economies destabilized by inflation, and surging temperatures that threaten the demise of our planet, all while navigating the rapid deployment of advanced technologies such as AI and automation.

York University, Canada’s third largest University and ranked in the world’s top 40 for its impact on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, is working in collaboration with partners around the world, it offers high quality programs and leadership in world-class interdisciplinary research such as a $318M Connected Minds Initiative that will enable industries to bring equitable technologies to market sooner and train the next generation of students.

India and Canada are natural partners to lead in this new global context. Speaking on this occasion Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor O.P. Jindal Global University said, “Since our founding in 2009, our vision has been focused on building India’s first ‘Global University’. We have proven our commitment to this vision by instilling internationalism in every aspect of higher education, ensuring a global learning experience in an international setting. In India’s quest to create a global arena of knowledge exchange and opportunities, Canada is an important partner in establishing mutually strong partnerships focused on our collaborative strengths. Both our countries are deeply committed to democracy, diversity, rule of law and pluralistic values. Our universities reflect these democratic values in which academic freedom and institutional autonomy empowers the faculty and students to pursue excellence in teaching, research and institution building. The collaboration with York University, Canada’s leading university, is an important milestone in our institutional journey. In this partnership, we aim to further progress with student and faculty exchange programmes, short-term study abroad programmes, dual degree programmes, and focus on collaborative research projects. As India’s leading private university, this relationship will not only boost the association between our universities but also strengthen the long-term educational relationship between India and Canada.”

He further added that in the field of education, India and Canada have a close and long-standing relationship. Higher education and research partnerships are a critical part of the Canada-India bilateral relationship. As is natural for two countries that share so many diplomatic and cultural associations, areas such as student mobility, research partnerships and educational exchanges, are of ever-increasing productive cooperation. Recent data from the Canadian Bureau for International Education shows nearly 34% of Canada’s international students come from India. There is a need to encourage growth in the number of Canadian students visiting India in the near future. 

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