Invitation for international conference

Dear Sir / Madam,

Sub:   Invitation for international conference on 'The Changing Landscape of
Internationalization in Higher Education’ from 8th to 10th April 2017 in Pune, India

Greetings from Symbiosis International University!

I am pleased to share with you that the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) in collaboration with the Symbiosis International University (SIU) will host an international conference on 'The Changing Landscape of Internationalization in Higher Education’ from 9th to 10th April 2017 preceded by a Round Table Discussion on ‘Building World Class Universities’ on 8th April 2017 in Pune, India.

I am writing this letter so as to enable you to make appropriate arrangements for your travel and stay in Pune well in advance.

AIU and SIU both believe that internationalization is a critical aspect of higher education that needs serious public discourse today.

There is a strong need within the nation, and specifically within Indian academia, to bring about structural changes / academic reforms so as to encourage Indian universities to evolve into strong globally recognized institutions of teaching and research.  This is a commitment articulated by the Government of India and announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister in his budget speech in 2016.

 “It is our commitment to empower higher educational institutions to help them become world class teaching and research institutions. An enabling regulatory architecture will be provided to ten public and ten private institutions to emerge as world-class teaching and research institutions. This will enhance affordable access to high quality education for ordinary Indians.”

Keeping this in mind and responding to the need for a more nuanced study of the realities and processes this would involve, AIU and SIU have planned the Round Table Discussion on ‘Building World Class Universities’ on 8th April 2017.This promises to be the perfect Curtain Raiser to the conference which begins on 9th April 2017. Key stakeholders in the national mission of building world class higher education institutions include decision makers from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the University Grants Commission, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, the All India Council for Technical Education and other agencies. We hope that speakers from these stakeholder institutions and from agencies such as National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and Times Higher Education Rankings will actively stimulate a discussion that could translate into appropriate policy changes and a pragmatic road map for India to follow, keeping in mind the criticality of ensuring that these higher educational institutions retain their local relevance.

While internationalization has long been considered an unquestionable goal in higher education, the emergence of globalization and other changes in the higher education scenario necessitate that the very concept of internationalization is reviewed. The importance of higher education in developing countries warrants a change in perspectives to facilitate employability in the higher education sector and the graduate labour market.
 We are keen to also focus our attention on the majority of students and faculty who may never be able to travel/intern/volunteer abroad and yet must be prepared to work and live in the increasingly globalised world. For them, the conversation on “The Changing Landscape of Internationalization in Higher Education” which is the theme of the conference is particularly relevant.

The conference will bring together Vice Chancellors, academicians, policy-makers, bureaucrats, civil society organizations, NGOs and media professionals from India and abroad to deliberate on the said theme.

It is equally imperative that the voices of university management and collaborating agencies be heard. Their experiences in internationalization and in building collaborative partnerships will surely help Indian universities. This will give us a chance to develop our relationship through various collaborative programs/activities.

Please accept our warm invitation to attend this conference which would also be a good networking opportunity to interact with leaders from universities across India and other stakeholders in higher education.

Please find attached a detailed concept note and schedule for the conference; detailed information is also available at http://scie.ac.in/siuconference/.

I extend a warm invitation to you and look forward to meeting you and interacting with you on this critical aspect of higher education.

Thanking you

With kind regards,

Dr. Sophia Gaikwad
Head, Symbiosis Teaching Learning Resource Centre