India is likely to become a more important partner for United States in the education sector if relationship with China continues to be difficult, according to University of Michigan President Mark S Schlissel.
Schlissel is leading a delegation to India to meet government officials, education institution partners, alumni and business leaders to discuss current and future collaborations.
According to him, the relationship of the US with countries around the world is making it "challenging" for international students to come to America.
"The United States' relationship with countries around the world is making it more challenging for students from many countries to come to America and I think that is a terrible thing. I am worried in particular about the US's relationship with China and the specific difficulties that students from China face to study in US," he told PTI in an interview.
"I know there are challenges with visa from students around the world but I think India is likely to become more and more important of a partner if relations with China continue to be difficult. I think the fact that we are both democracies and culture bound makes us better partners than other different parts of world," he added.
Currently there are 800 Indian students enrolled in University of Michigan (U-M)and over 300 faculty members and researchers.
"Currently, we get maximum students from China followed by India from where the numbers are growing and we would like to attract even more students but we are not looking at any numerical targets but valuable partnerships," he said.
On Schlissel's agenda for India visit is a meeting with Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, Research and Science Advisor to the Prime Minister and few of Michigan alumni based in India. The delegation will visit Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, where the annual University of Michigan-- Indian conference will be held on November 8.
"The purpose of the visit is to understand the areas we can collaborate in. The Health Ministry is in the process of setting up more AIIMS and we would like to explore how we can contribute and areas of mutual interest," Schlissel said.
The university has an ongoing partnership with AIIMS, Delhi, in its trauma centre and other departments with regular exchange of students since 2012.
Talking about India's move to bring a new National Education Policy (NEP), he said, "The best part is that the Indian government has recognised that the future success of the country will depend on increasing number of skilled citizens".
The varsity's collaboration with India goes back more than a century. The first Sanskrit language course was taught at the university in 1897. There are collaboration programmes with partnership with IISER Pune; Srishti School of Design, Bangalore and Salokaya School of Nursing.
The executive education program with Tata Industries and U-M's Ross School of Business recently celebrated 25 years of engagement.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)