Notre Dame leaders build academic relationships in South Asia

Author: Brendan O’Shaughnessy

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., gives an address Feb. 6 at St. Xavier's College in MumbaiMUMBAI — University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., on Thursday (Feb. 6) signed an agreement to formalize a relationship with St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, India, that includes study abroad and summer research programs, faculty exchange and research collaboration.

Father Jenkins also signed similar Memorandums of Understanding with St. Stephen’s College in Delhi and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, earlier this week during a trip to India and Bangladesh that aims to strengthen Notre Dame’s academic engagement with South Asia. Father Jenkins and the Notre Dame India delegation are also meeting with Notre Dame alumni, in addition to corporate, religious and government leaders in India and Bangladesh.

St. Xavier’s is Catholic, while St. Stephen’s is Anglican. Both are prestigious faith-based liberal arts and science universities with institutional values that align well with Notre Dame’s and that count among their alumni many influential leaders in India’s government, business and media. Father Jenkins delivered an address Thursday at St. Xavier’s titled “Educating the Mind and Heart” to faculty, students and other guests.

“In a more globalized world, an education that includes moral and spiritual values and addresses the education of the whole person is needed now more than ever,” Father Jenkins said. “St. Stephen’s, St. Xavier’s and Notre Dame, with their approach to education, have a critical contribution to make.”

The head of St. Xavier’s, Rev. Frazer Mascarenhas, S.J., noted in his introduction that St. Xavier’s shares a similar ethos to Notre Dame and that the bridges to be built between the two universities will benefit future generations of students who are open to the divine and needed by the world.

Rev. Frazer Mascarenhas, S.J., head of St. Xavier's, talks during a Q&A session at St. Xavier's in Mumbai

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are elite institutions that focus on science and engineering. Students from the IITs, including IIT Bombay and IIT Gandhinagar, will participate in Notre Dame International’s iSURE (international summer undergraduate research experience) from May through July at Notre Dame, hosted by faculty in Colleges of Science and Engineering.

“Notre Dame has long had excellent study abroad programs,” said J. Nicholas Entrikin, the vice president and associate provost for internationalization at Notre Dame. “These relationships with Indian universities are an opportunity to expand our global footprint and let the world know more about our great research and teaching.”

In Bangladesh, the Notre Dame delegation will be hosted by the Holy Cross community in Dhaka. Father Jenkins will visit the Holy Cross-established Notre Dame College and meet with local bishops and religious superiors.

Besides Father Jenkins and Entrikin, the India delegation includes Rev. William Lies, vice president for mission engagement and church affairs; Jonathan Noble, assistant provost for Asia and executive director of the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies; and Anita Garg, Notre Dame International’s director for India.

Originally published by Brendan O’Shaughnessy at on February 06, 2014.