BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A new Indiana University Bloomington Kelley School of Business partnership with FLAME University in Pune, India, will launch reciprocal study abroad programs for students on both campuses.
FLAME University is modeled on traditional liberal arts colleges in the U.S. -- a rarity in India, where the majority of the more than 800 universities focus on science and technology. The partnership will provide a base for Kelley undergraduates interested in short-term study abroad in a city that is known as a hub for information technology and manufacturing. Pune is 75 miles from Mumbai, the financial center of India.
"It has been wonderful to see FLAME University move from concept to a thriving center for inquiry and research," said IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel. "I'm thrilled to know that IU students will have the chance to immerse themselves in the culture in Pune and to learn firsthand about the global marketplace. I also look forward to welcoming FLAME students to our campus and know that our students and our Office of International Services will offer support and friendship."
FLAME has four schools with undergraduate and graduate programs: the School of Liberal Education, School of Business, School of Communication and School of Fine and Performing Arts. The university recently signed an agreement with Nuffield College, University of Oxford, Centre for Experimental Social Sciences, to create a collaborative Centre for Experimental Sciences in Pune -- a testament to FLAME's interest in supporting a research culture with its faculty.
The new agreement fosters short-term exchange programs and study abroad in India and Bloomington. It also includes collaborative research, curriculum development, joint programs, faculty exchange and executive education.
In addition to the Kelley agreement, IU and FLAME signed a general partnership agreement; Robel plans to expand short-term exchange opportunities with FLAME to other programs and schools. IU Bloomington's College of Arts and Sciences is looking into providing a summer study abroad program in Bloomington to FLAME undergraduate students. Students in Bloomington and India will be encouraged to make use of the India Global Gateway in Gurgaon, near the Indian capital of New Delhi, for programming.
Vice Chancellor Devi Singh came to FLAME University after 10 years as director of the Indian Institute of Management at Lucknow.
"FLAME University is uniquely positioned in India in its efforts to provide a global and interdisciplinary education," Singh said. "We consider this collaboration with Indiana University Bloomington as a big boost to our internationalization efforts. We look forward to taking these collaborative efforts in many fruitful directions that will be mutually beneficial to FLAME and Indiana University Bloomington. We are confident that students and faculty in both the institutions will be enriched through this collaboration.'
IU's relationship with FLAME began when Singh invited Ash Soni, executive associate dean for academic programs at the Kelley School, to visit the campus.
"I was pleasantly surprised by the school, its philosophy, their liberal arts model and the facilities they had," Soni said. "Their liberal arts model is very unique in India, and this is one of the first such institutions of its kind there. They also have some international faculty, which is very different for an Indian institution."
Soni said FLAME is trying to combine the best of India with the best in the U.S. He said many Kelley students have expressed interest in India programs, and he expects great interest in FLAME study abroad and exchange opportunities.
Kelley School Dean Idalene "Idie" Kesner said the partnership will provide a remarkable opportunity for IU students to see their areas of study through a global lens.
"The IU students selected for this program will learn about living and working abroad while also understanding how American business is perceived in India," Kesner said. "FLAME University's strong business programming and corporate outreach make it an ideal partner for us."
The partnership is expected to officially kick off in early 2018.