An agreement of academic collaboration between SNDT Women’s University, 106-year old First Women’s University of India and the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), the largest Community College under the City University of New York (CUNY) was signed in presence of Maharashtra Governor and Chancellor of universities Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan Mumbai. A Conclave on “Internationalisation of Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges” was also held on the occasion.
President of the BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College) – CUNY Dr Anthony Munroe and Vice Chancellor of SNDT Women’s University Prof. Ujwala Chakradeo signed the Statement of Shared Interest in presence of the Governor.
Speaking on the occasion, the Governor said that we live in an era of collaboration and cooperation and not confrontation. This collaboration will bring new light in students’ work-life. Complimenting the SNDT Women’s University and the BMCC Community College for embarking on a partnership for student and faculty exchange, the Governor said the collaboration will produce good results for both the sides within the next few years. He mentioned that goodwill of both the organisations will benefit each other.
President of the BMCC, CUNY, New York Dr Anthony Munroe said the BMCC is the largest community college in the US, offering affordable education to students from 140 different countries. Stating that 60 per cent of the BMCC students were women, he felt that partnership with SNDT Women’s University will prove to be mutually beneficial. He said the fees charged by the College is one-sixth of private colleges.
He mentioned that the BMCC is rated among the top 5 Community Colleges in the United States, having collaboration with best known financial institutions such as Goldman Sach, Zurich, Citi Bank, Moody’s and others. He said students of the Colleges can pursue further higher education in the best Ivy league institutions such as NewYork, Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Starnford, UC Berkeley and MIT.
Vice Chancellor of SNDT Women’s University Dr. Ujwala Chakradeo said the MoU is being signed right at a time when India is ready to implement the National Education Policy 2020. Dr. Chakradeo highlighted that both the institutions offer diverse courses opening many avenues of academic collaboration for the students of both the countries. She expressed the hope that girls from India will get the best of higher education opportunities through the partnership with BMCC. Stating that Skill education is the forte of the SNDT Women’s University, she further said that the areas of collaboration with BMCC such as internship, joint degrees, entrepreneurship etc. have been identified and will be acted upon. She hopes that many students from both the universities will be able to visit and work with each other.
Shri. Santosh Kumar, Secretary to Governor, Maharashtra; Shri. Rakesh Naithani, Special Secretary to the Governor and Officer on Special Duty; Ms. Sita Raiter, Dy Cultural Attaché from the US Consulate General, Mumbai and Mr. Sanjay Ramdath, Director and Acting Vice President of Enrollment Management, BMCC graced the occasion. Ms. Sita assured all support needed for the future collaboration and student exchange. Prof Ruby Ojha, Pro Vice Chancellor of SNDTWU, Registrar Dr Vilas Nandavadekar, Dr Nitin Wani of International Cell, Deans, Heads of various departments and Principals of autonomous and affiliated Colleges under SNDTWU were present.
The conclave to discuss mutual collaboration opportunities continued in the next session. About 35 academic leaders from SNDT Women’s University shared unique features of their departments and colleges, strengths of their programmes and expressed possible avenues of collaboration. The session concluded with the presentation by Mr. Sanjay Ramdath about BMCC.