Path to India

Queen’s Law looks to make ties with Indian universities

Principal Woolf and Jindall Global Law School’s Vice-Chancellor Raj Kumar sign a memorandum of understanding during Woolf’s recent trip to India with a group of presidents from other Canadian universities.
Principal Woolf and Jindall Global Law School’s Vice-Chancellor Raj Kumar sign a memorandum of understanding during Woolf’s recent trip to India with a group of presidents from other Canadian universities.
Credit: 
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As part of a continuing effort to internationalize Queen’s, the Faculty of Law has announced a partnership with Jindal Global Law School in New Delhi, India.

Bill Flanagan, dean of Queen’s Law, said this new partnership will allow law students to study at the Jindal School on exchange. He said the exchange will be popular because many students have ties to India.

“Those who don’t have cultural ties with India are fascinated with India,” he said. “India is booming. It’s a huge economy.”

Flanagan said the exchange will be structured in the same way as other exchanges already offered by the Faculty of Law to places such as Australia, Hong Kong and several others.

Students on exchange are awarded credits on their transcripts as opposed to direct grades. The exchange option is open to law students of all concentrations.

Flanagan said India is an ideal country for the Faculty of Law to partner with.

“There are a million reasons why we should be there, why we should be involved with India.”

He said the biggest draw for Queen’s includes the fact that India is English speaking and that like Canada, it follows a common law system.

Flanagan said he first heard about Jindal Law School from a Queen’s law graduate student.

“I was in China on a research project … stopped off in New Delhi and met with the graduate and the Dean of the school and was very impressed with the school,” he said.

In an effort to increase international awareness about Canadian universities, Principal Woolf travelled to India along with 15 other Canadian university presidents for a weeklong visit from Nov. 8 - 13. During this trip, Woolf signed a memorandum of understanding between Queen’s and the Jindal Law School.

Woolf was part of the largest delegation of Canadian university presidents and principals to ever visit India.

Queen’s has already taken several initiatives to strengthen their ties with Indian universities. Woolf announced that up to nine new admission scholarships will be awarded to top undergraduate students from India, starting fall 2011. The students in Masters of Business Administration (MBA) have also recently organized the first Queen’s Business Forum entitled ‘Experience India.’

Gillian Ready, assistant dean of international programs in the Faculty of Law, said the recently developed agreements between Queen’s Law and Jindal Global Law School will give up to three students per semester the opportunity to participate in the exchange.

The Faculty of Law has also secured funding from alumnus Andrew Best, LLB ’81, to provide an exchange bursary to one Jindal student coming to Queen’s each year.

Ready said that in the last couple of years the Faculty of Law has seen approximately 40 out of 160 third year law students go on exchange.

“This is an option that will be very popular and I think this is adding another option for students rather than adding six more students to our numbers,” she said.

Internationalization is one of the key principles of ‘Where Next?,’ the vision statement presented to the Queen’s community last January that outlines a plan for Queen’s future.

An advisory group, consisting of Vice-Provost (International) John Dixon, Vice-Principal (Advancement) Tom Harris and Vice-Principal (Research) Steven Liss, is currently in the process of developing a strategy geared towards prioritizing international promotion within the upcoming Academic Plan.

Woolf said India is a country with a growing middle class population and large facility deficits. He said inter-university partnerships may be able to help alleviate some of these burdens.

“India’s post-secondary system doesn’t have the capacity to educate everyone and the quality of the institution is quite variable. So there is an opportunity for Canadian universities, including Queen’s, to help India educate its citizens,” he said.

“We have long-term goals for India, including increased student enrollment from India, greater faculty and student mobility for our students, bringing visiting Indian scholars to Queen’s [and] potential engagement with Indian industry.”

Woolf announced that up to nine admission scholarships will be awarded to top undergraduate students from India, starting next fall.

Five of the scholarships are the Principal’s International Scholarships valued at $20, 000 each, which will be funded from donations. Students from India are also eligible for up to four of the 10 International Entrance Scholarships valued at $9,000 each. Further awards previously available only to Canadian students will be open to all eligible internal students, starting fall 2011.

Vice-Provost (International) John Dixon told the Journal via email that scholarships will be awarded to Indian undergraduate students who would study at Queen’s for their whole undergraduate degrees and they’re not targeted to specific disciplines.

“Assisting a few students to attend Queen’s, these scholarships will raise the profile of Queen’s and lead other students to consider coming here,” he said.

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