Partnerships will help with new recruitment center in India



Lefton believes the recruitment center will bring more Indian students to Kent State

Anna Staver

Kent State administrators are planning to open a recruitment center in Dehli, India, this spring and are planning partnerships with several universities throughout the country.

President Lester Lefton said India was an attractive option for Kent State because a large number of Indians grow up speaking English.

“There are more people who speak English in India than there are in the United States,” Lefton said. “That makes it a lot easier for them to matriculate into Kent State and to live in Ohio.”

Lefton also said India was a logical next step in Kent State’s international recruitment because colleges in India will not be prepared to handle the demand for higher education for at least another 20 years.

On her recent trip to India, Mary Ann Saunders, the executive director for the Office of International Affairs, said she saw many different American colleges already actively recruiting Indian students.

Saunders traveled to India as part of a delegation of Kent State employees who returned in January from a two-week trip throughout the country. The team looked at several cities, including Mumbai, before deciding on Delhi as the location for Kent’s recruitment center.

“Mumbai had a lot of positives, but it’s more expensive, and it’s not where the seat of government is,” Saunders said.

The team also met with several universities in India to discuss partnership programs, Saunders said.

“One of the reasons we wanted to develop these relationships with Indian colleges would be to have a safe and effective climate for our students to go there,” Saunders said.

For example, Kent State signed a memorandum of understanding with the International College for Girls in Jaipur, India.

“It’s a good first step that means we have a relationship, and we will work together in the future to develop joint programs,” Saunders said.

These programs could mean having a student in India complete two years of college at a university there, and spend two years working on the same degree at Kent State. Saunders said it could also mean that students from Kent State could travel to India to study for a semester or more.

She said the Foundation for Liberal and Management Education in Pune, India would love to host Kent State students.

“We have very strong possibilities with them,” Saunders said.

The Pearl Academy of Fashion in Delhi was interested in partnering with Kent State’s fashion school, Saunders said. And to help develop those relationships with different fashion schools and programs, she said John Crawford, the dean of the College of the Arts, was a member of the Indian delegation.

The recruitment center will be the first step, and Saunders said she hopes it will open sometime in March or April. A full-time Kent State employee, who will reside in Delhi, will help guide the university through the application process with the Indian government and determine the exact location of the center.

Lefton said he expects the office will begin to recruit Indian students as early as this summer or fall.

“We’re not expecting large numbers in the fall because we’re just opening the office,” Lefton said. “But over the next year as we ramp up our recruitment efforts in India, I expect that in the fall of 2012 we will see a significant infusion of Indian students.”

Contact Anna Staver at [email protected]