USC, India Collaboration: Future Of Innovation

USC President Carol Folt spearheads partnership with India, aiming to deepen ties in education, research and innovation for mutual benefit

‘The country of countries' school of schools.’ USC President Carol Folt attempted to strengthen the university's extensive and long-standing relationship with India by framing her first visit to the nation in this way last month. 

Folt conducted a three-city visit with a group of deans, faculty researchers and senior administrators, highlighting USC's advantages as the go-to institution and research partner for Indian students, corporations and government agencies. The tour, themed ‘USC-India: Partner the Future,’ was the culmination of a professional and academic partnership that has been developing between the two nations for more than 50 years. 

Folt and her entourage visited with dignitaries, corporate and academic leaders throughout the tour, which included an innovation summit, panel discussions and alumni gatherings.

‘Now is the perfect moment to accelerate the global partnership between USC and India,’ Folt declared in front of the media, Indian dignitaries and American citisens. ‘Our students can gain the specialized knowledge and network of support needed to launch new products or businesses, shape policy or create solutions to problems in science, technology, health care and sustainability through this partnership.’

USC deans turn momentum into action 

USC deans go from inspiration to action. Several USC deans and faculty members who have previously worked with partners in India on research projects joined Folt to discuss the specific initiatives their schools are developing or putting into practice to meet the objectives of the Partner the Future mission. 

Among these was the declaration that Gaurav Sukhatme, the former executive vice dean of USC Viterbi, will take on the role of first director of USC's newest institution, the School of Advanced Computing. Sukhatme, who was reared in India, wants to establish USC as one of the top West Coast locations for IT talent. Geoffrey Garrett, dean of the USC Marshall School of Corporate, also announced a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a leading corporate organisation in India.

A top choice among Indian students

Throughout her journey, Folt made comments that highlighted the similarities between Mumbai and Los Angeles, two towns that have been sister cities since 1972. Within the 71 public and private colleges in the United States that are members of the Association of American Colleges, USC consistently ranks among the top choices for Indian students and attracts the third-largest number of students from the nation. 

It was the same this autumn semester. The number of Indian students enrolled at USC is close to 2,700, which is a 36 per cent increase since fall 2019 (pre-pandemic). Currently, 16 per cent of the university's international enrolment which topped 17,000 this year, consists of Indian students. 

Being a worldwide leader in research and education, we think that the USC-India connection will open up prospects for many more Indian students.

The growing Trojan Family

There is a network ready for Indian students as soon as they get to USC. They can become members of the Association of Indian Students, the largest student group at the institution with origins dating back to the early 1970s. 

Folt characterised the trip's brisk energy as ‘kinetic’ in a Mumbai meeting with alumni and business executives. 

‘We will create new opportunities and unite humanity to take on some of the most pressing global challenges of our time when we 'Partner the Future,' Carol Folt declared.

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