The University of Chicago on Monday plans to announce that it will open a new academic center in India in the spring, expanding its international presence to a country that U.S. universities have been eyeing for years.
The Center in Delhi will serve as a base for U. of C. and South Asia faculty and students who want to work and study in India and throughout the region. The goal is for faculty and students from various countries to collaborate in three broad areas of study: business, economics, law and policy; science, energy, medicine and public health; and culture, society, religion and the arts.
"It will be a place to form and strengthen academic partnerships, to infuse research with global perspectives and to participate in thought-provoking student programs and internships," U. of C. President Robert Zimmer planned to say in Delhi on Monday afternoon, according to written remarks made available by the university.
Zimmer said the center will support students and scholars at all levels — "from undergraduates to Nobel laureates." It will not grant degrees.
The Hyde Park private university has been working on dozens of research projects in India for years. For example, students from U. of C.'s School of Social Service Administration have partnered with students from a university in India to examine social welfare organization and poverty there. In exchange, the Indian students have visited the U. of C. to study urban development and human rights.
The new center will allow more collaborations, officials said, adding that it will be an "important addition" to the U. of C.'s international presence.
The university opened its Center in Beijing in 2010 and its Center in Paris in 2004, and plans are underway to open a center in Hong Kong. The university's Booth School of Business also has campuses in London and Singapore, where, unlike at the other international centers, the university offers degree-granting programs.
The 17,000-square-foot Center in Delhi, located in an office and retail building in the commercial district known as Connaught Place, will provide space for seminars and conferences, as well as faculty offices and study areas. The university expects to spend about $3.45 million on construction costs to build out the leased space.
A U. of C. spokesman said he couldn't estimate how many students and faculty are expected to work at the center each year but that the numbers will be comparable to the activity at the Center in Beijing, which has had 7,000 visits from scholars and students from 25 countries since it opened.
"Our goal is to create an intellectual destination in Delhi where scholars and students from the United States, India and around the world can benefit from the free exchange of ideas," according to Zimmer's remarks.
While foreign universities have expressed interest in expanding to India for years, the country's strict and complicated regulations have kept many away.
The U. of C. center is expected to open in March. It will be a wholly owned foreign enterprise.