Global Education and Strategic Partnerships

Spearheading all international partnerships for Ashoka University, the Office of Global Education and Strategic Partnerships (GESP) provides students with a resources and services to explore studying abroad either for a summer programme or a semester.

The Office also curates courses and runs the Visiting Students Programme (VSP) for international students from partners’ schools coming to Ashoka. It also runs the summer semester at Ashoka, offering a number of courses for credit for Ashoka and other students and pre-college programmes for high school students.

YSP-Urban Lab: In January, GESP launched a new programme, on social impact and change, for high school students in classes 9-12, called YSP-Urban Lab (UL). The first cohort of students got an opportunity to identify an issue of concern, learn research tools and find resources in a methodical manner to work on a project for effecting change. It gave students a holistic view of the world, challenged them intellectually to become sensitised action-oriented young adults on issues they care about.

MOU with Connecticut College, USA leads to Global Research on Covid-19: GESP on behalf of Ashoka University signed an MoU and Student Exchange Agreement with Connecticut College, USA in January 2021. One of the immediate activities that followed was the participation of 5 Ashoka students, Sanjay Sudarsan, Meher Manga, Khushi Bhatia, Mohit Kumar and Tushar Nain, in a global virtual research programme on the impact of Covid-19 on their communities. Teams from 5 countries, including Ghana, Russia, Hong Kong, USA and India researched the impact of the pandemic on education, environment, global inequality, activism, and policy. After a thorough orientation, an overview of the project, training on research methodology, best practices while collaborating with culturally diverse teams, the students embarked on an exciting 10-week journey of collaborating with student ambassadors from across the globe.

Ninth Young Scholars Programme (YSP) held successfully in June 2021:

In its second year, YSP Online scaled new heights by enrolling 422 students from 230 schools, 71 cities, and 8 countries to the Young Scholars Programme 2021. From the 14th to 18th June YSP students got a chance to hear from 10 Ashoka Faculty and participated in small group discussions around these subjects. They also attended creative workshops as a part of YSP Atelier. In the writing sessions, students explored the art of writing through 12 unique topics and styles of writing. With inspiring guest speaker sessions and presentations from Ashoka Outreach and Admissions Team students were able to explore the unique Ashoka liberal arts and sciences pedagogy. The students had some immersive social time with the YSP Unwind - a space to connect with peers and play games.

GESP in collaboration with Northeastern University, USA offered a summer seminar, Ethnographic Field Experience conducted by Prof. Liza Weinstein to students majoring in Sociology and Anthropology (SOA). 6 Ashoka students participated remotely in the virtual seminar. This unique seminar brought together students from Ashoka and Northeastern to discuss questions that lie at the very heart of anthropology, having deep conversations on topics that drew on their cultural backgrounds, geographic and institutional locations, and to learn from peers on two sides of the world in a richly discussion-based online setting.

GESP reports on Graduate Admissions: In spring of each academic year, GESP conducts a survey of the graduating students to collect information on where the students are headed for higher studies. In 2021 GESP tracked over 110 students of which 93 students received admissions to prestigious universities across the globe, like Yale and Columbia in USA; University of Cambridge and Oxford in the UK and several others. The 93 students comprise 65 graduating undergraduates and masters and 28 Ashoka alumni.

Summer Semester at Ashoka: The 2021 summer semester was held online from July 5 to August 13 successfully offering a total of 21courses across various disciplines. It was the second year for the Visiting Indian Students Programme (VISP) and 10 students enrolled to take courses in the summer semester. There were also 4 students from the Visiting Students Programme (VSP) who undertook courses The VISP’s were students from colleges and universities in India whereas VSP’s were students from international schools. Having these students as a part of the summer semester ensured diversity and exchange of different ideas within the class. A big attraction in the summer for these students is to be able to take courses with Ashoka faculty.

Graduate Information sessions on higher studies:

Each year in the monsoon semester, GESP organizes graduate information sessions, workshops and panel presentations on the application process, LORs, SOPs, scholarships and more. The focus of these sessions is to guide, advice and answer questions of Ashoka students planning to apply for higher studies to programmes both in India and abroad. These sessions are organised to help students clarify specific doubts and also understand the needs and demands of the application process.

On 28 October, 2021, GESP hosted over 26 international universities as part of its Annual Study Abroad Fair virtually. Over 260 students registered and attended the fair. The students had the opportunity to interact with representatives from universities across different countries such as the King’s College, Yale, Stanford, University of British Columbia, University of Bristol, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (among others) as they inquired about the opportunities for summer and semester abroad. They also received information on graduate studies, masters, and Ph.D. programmes at these institutions.

Amongst the attending organizations were Campus France, British Council, USIEF and DAAD from Germany. They provided Ashoka students with general guidance about graduate studies in their respective regions.


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