Does Georgetown want to build a campus in India?

SFS-Q may not be the only overseas Georgetown campus in the future, if Minister Kapil Sibal has anything to say about it.

Last Wednesday, Sibal, who spoke at Georgetown in October 2009, met with Senior Vice President Spiros Dimolitsas to discuss the possibility of building a campus in India.

Dimolitsas, who was joined by officials from Virginia Tech and American University at the meeting, told Sibal that Georgetown is “looking at institutions and projects [that aim] at social science research,” according to the Indian Press Information Bureau. He specifically mentioned programs that involve “professional and executive development for policy makers and business leaders” and “research in emerging areas of climate change.”

Coming at the heels of legislation introduced last May that aims to aid and regulate foreign universities’ plans to build campuses in India, Sibal’s visit to DC was meant to encourage and attract American universities.

But, don’t hold your breath—Georgetown has only begun to pursue a handful of options in the sub-continent.

“There’s no specifics regarding Georgetown and India. As we do routinely with a variety of entities, Georgetown is exploring opportunities to develop a range of possible partnerships in India that could further the university’s mission,” University spokesperson Julie Green Bataille wrote in an e-mail to Vox. “Conversations are at a very preliminary stage to determine what feasible options may exist.  There are no specific projects identified or time frames outlined for moving forward at this time.”

But planning aside, let’s all agree on one thing—SFS-I has a nice ring to it.

Photo taken from Georgetown University’s website.

16 Comments on “Does Georgetown want to build a campus in India?

  1. If they can do this with out impacting the projects that need to get done on the main campus then by all means go right ahead. However, there’s so much on the main campus that needs to be fixed that I’d rather they focus on that stuff first. Once we’ve finished the science building, the MSF, the much needed repairs to Dahlgren Chapel, a basketball practice facility, fixed yates, and renovated ryan and the other unused parts of the healy complex, then you can sink money into a new campus.

  2. It doesn’t sound like they want an SFS campus specifically. From what they said, they might want a branch of the College/Graduate School with programs like GPPI, Envi Sci, Sociology, Psychology, etc. Those are much more relevant to the “social science” interests than the SFS programs.

    The College should lead the way on this one!

  3. Repairing Dahlgren Chapel? What does THAT do for Georgetown’s brand?

  4. @ the administration I would personally rather have money spent on brand (i.e. research institutes, professorships, programs etc.) than on renovating dahlgren. And either way, Building brand might be the only way to get the school rich enough to do things like fix dahlgren.

    @ COL I agree it doesnt sound like they want an SFS campus in the model of sfs-q. but your “college” parochialism is kind of irritating. . . but i mean I guess you have a point, with the college’s renowned programs in psych, soc. and env. sci.– oh wait…
    Things will probably be SFS focused because the SFS has the international reputation etc.

    I sound like a prestige whore, but to me a better georgetown at least in part means better research centers, brighter students etc.

  5. Renowned sociology program? This sound like an oxymoron to anyone else?

  6. did that not sound like irony to anyone else?

  7. No, it doesn’t sound like irony. It sounds like sarcasm. If you don’t know the difference, you might want to take a break from mocking the College and take one of its English classes. Then you can get back to inflating SFSers’ egos. Talk about parochialism.

    Also, research institutes, professorships, and new programs aren’t “brand-building.” They have direct impact on the quality of students’ experiences. Building a campus in Qatar, on the other hand, was primarily aimed at making Georgetown look good, and it changed very little in the experience of Georgetown’s students. (I’m referring to the ones in DC.)

  8. I don’t think it’s the SFS that has the international reputation so much as Georgetown overall. I’m an SFS alum and I have spent most of my time abroad since graduation, and I’ve found that while people are very familiar with Georgetown, none know specifically about the SFS. If anything, they know that Georgetown has a renowned “Government” program, which is a department in the College (but where half the classes, admittedly, are SFS).

    I love the SFS but SFSers definitely have an inflated sense of the school’s renown and prestige abroad. To be honest I think we’re better off supporting an overall “Georgetown” brand than a narrower “SFS” brand.

  9. The only reason we have a campus in Qatar is because it was paid for by the parents of the students that go there – Georgetown paid very, very little in relation to what the Sheikhs of the area invested. Kind of like why we have the Villa – it was given to us as a gift.

    Almost all students that go to SFS-Q come from wealthy families. They go to SFS-Q because they don’t want to leave their families and home countries. I imagine an India campus would have the same demographics and be afforded through the same means. So not wanting a new SFS campus because there are repairs or improvements needed on Main Campus doesn’t really hold water.

  10. Actually, an SFS-I (or Georgetown campus in India in general) would be incredibly sweet for several reasons. One: India’s foreign policy is notoriously bad, and part of it might be because Indian educational institutions are poorly equipped to teach IR (except JNU in Delhi, which is great). Second: India’s got tremendous scope for development of educational institutes in general, since we’ve typically been closed off to any foreign investment in education, and infrastructure at educational institutions tends to be poor. Finally, a super selfish reason: at least my degree would be worth something in my home country if the Georgetown brand takes off in India. As things stand now, anytime I say I go to Georgetown to people in India, the response I draw is “what, Georgia Tech?” or “Georgetown? What’s that? Why would you go there?”

  11. Vox needs to establish a protocol for denoting sarcasm in comments. The volleying back and forth between commenters leads to monkey’s fists of confusion.

  12. @Modern Language Association

    Perhaps a protocol like [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlwCCWGYOGg]?

  13. Pingback: Vox Populi » Comments of the Week: Outsourced.

  14. Pingback: Comments of the Week: Outsourced.

  15. Pingback: Vox Populi » DeGioia travels to India, talks education partnering

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