New Delhi: Indians represent third largest group of international students at Yale University. The number of international students pursuing higher education is about 165 Indians, not counting Indian-Americans enrolled right now and together. Indian citizens in Yale claim about 3.6 million dollars of financial assistance every year. But it's not entirely one-sided.
The "Yale community" alumni, parents of current students, general interested parties from India can be relied upon for support as well. "They channel great students our way. They help when Yale students come to India with placements or internships or research. Some in that community also help the university philanthropically," says Yale University president, the social psycologist Peter Salovey.
MOU with Ashoka University
He was in the country to interact with this community and also to sign an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the private Ashoka University for collaboration.
This is the one of only two formal collaborations between an Indian institution and Yale; the other is with Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, which is part of the Yale-managed Global Network for Advancement Management.
Most tie-ups with Yale are built from the ground up. Some group of faculty from Yale knows some group of faculty here or there's collaborative scholarship," says Salovey explaining why they've teaming up with a private university.
One of Ashoka's founders, Ashish Dhawan, is a Yale alumnus. In Singapore, Yale has collaborated with the government. The India Initiative and India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Programme are less than a decade old but the India connect is somewhat older.
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"We are the university with the longest standing study of Sanskrit in America. It goes back, I think, to the 1840s. There was always a Sanskrit scholar at Yale. Most frequently in religious studies or linguistics and there are students," says Salovey.
Gujarati, Urdu, Tamil and several Indian languages are also being taught. And there are faculty positions "where the occupant is somebody who's going to be interested in India" in several fields including anthropology, political science, comparative literature.
Subsequently, the number of Indian students in Yale has grown considerably over the last decade and is the third largest group of international students, after China and Canada. Of the 165, 40-45 are undergraduates and the rest graduate students.
"in the need-blind way", policy of admitting talented students
Yale has a policy of admitting "in the need-blind way", which aims to recruit the talented even if they don't have the means to pay - and a large number get full funding.
"More international students are on scholarship than domestic ones. An average student from India receiving scholarship support from Yale is getting USD 60,000 in a year in order to pay for an all-in cost bill. The family contribution is about USD 5,000," explains Salovey.
A third of the total budget and more than half of the scholarship budget come from gifts to the university that go into an endowment that is, in turn, invested. Yale's "expanding at home" too. It is increasing its intake by 200 - 800 over four years - after 45 years.