Connecting the U.S. and South Asia through our colleges and universities
The South Asia International Education Network (South Asia-IEN) brings together leaders, practitioners, scholars, and entrepreneurs in the U.S. higher education space whose origins and/or work touch upon the countries of South Asia.
South Asians constitute one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in the U.S. and our presence in the U.S. higher education landscape has increased in both visibility and impact:
A growing number of leaders at U.S. colleges and universities and at higher education nonprofits and companies are of South Asian origin
The countries, cultures, and sociopolitical issues of South Asia are well-established in U.S. academia; and
The flows of students and scholars between the US and South Asian countries have been a strong foundation for educational and cultural diplomacy since the early 1900s, and also constitute a critical source of global talent for the U.S.
To date no South Asia-focused organization or network has tapped into the collective professional power of these groups.
South Asia-IEN helps fill this gap and is not limited to those of South Asian heritage. Rather, we aim to be inclusive, recognizing the wide and deep historical, geographical, and cultural connections between the countries of South Asia; across the widespread South Asian diaspora; and the extensive engagement in South Asia by a large number of scholars and practitioners who themselves may or may not be of South Asian heritage.
WHAT WE OFFER
A platform to connect professionals, scholars, and leaders across US higher education, nonprofits, and business with each other to share knowledge; explore collaborations and partnerships; and develop professionally.
Higher Education Partnerships
Create a clear pathway to build linkages between the U.S. and South Asian countries, especially at a time when many South Asian countries’ higher education sector is seeing rapid growth and a new openness to global engagement.
Engage the diplomatic sector and serve as a resource to countries’ embassies and consulates in the U.S. on educational and cultural exchanges and diplomacy. Advocate for the inclusion of higher education mobility in discussions of diplomacy and foreign affairs.
Mentoring & Professional Development
Mentor the next generation of international education professionals with ties to South Asia; increasing the representation of South Asians in leadership roles in international education; and serving first- and second-generation South Asians in the diaspora.
WHO WE ARE
Our co-founders bring to SouthAsia-IEN a combined expertise of 50+ years in international higher education in academic and nonprofit settings in the U.S.; a deep passion for and commitment to connecting the U.S. and South Asian diaspora through higher education; and their lived experiences as international student alumni and proud Indian American immigrants.
Rajika Bhandari, Ph.D.
Dr. Rajika Bhandari is an international higher education expert, a scholar-practitioner, and the author of the award-winning book, America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility. With 25+ years of experience in the nonprofit and higher education sectors, including Indo-U.S. exchanges, she now offers data-driven guidance on international engagement strategy to nonprofits, multilateral organizations, and higher education institutions globally through her firm, Rajika Bhandari Advisors. She currently also serves as a Senior Advisor to the Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. She previously led the IC3 Institute as its President and CEO, and spent over a decade at the Institute of International Education (IIE) where she led IIE’s research, evaluation and thought leadership portfolio, including the Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, an essential resource for understanding international student flows and U.S. study abroad. Dr. Bhandari is a widely published author and a keynote speaker on international education issues, global talent, and Asian American identity. She also hosts the World Wise podcast on the intersections of education, culture, and (im)migration. Educated at the University of Delhi, India, and North Carolina State University in the U.S., Dr. Bhandari knows first-hand the experience of academic mobility and migration. Learn more about her work at: www.rajikabhandari.com.
Uttiyo Raychaudhuri, Ph.D.
Dr. Uttiyo Raychaudhuri is the Vice Provost for Internationalization at the University of Denver and faculty in the Department of Geography and Environment. He served before this at Cornell University as the first Executive Director in the Office of Global Learning. Prior to that, he worked at Clemson University and the University of Georgia. His leadership has been recognized twice (2012 & 2014) with the Institute of International Education’s Andrew Heiskell Award for Best Practices and Innovation in International Education. Raychaudhuri has served as an elected member to the Forum on Education Abroad Council for two terms. Through his work, he has successfully advocated for high-impact, evidence-based academic and global engagement as a key foundation of the universities strategic plan. Through his research work and presentations, Raychaudhuri has actively promoted global engagement and international education to advance and advocate the cause of global citizenry including key notions of sustainability and ‘dignity for life’ by nurturing love and respect for the peoples and environments of our world.
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