Administrators from Kutztown University and Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce in Pune, India, signed an articulation agreement to facilitate the transfer of Symbiosis students into KU’s College of Business and KU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The virtual signing took place Aug. 10 in the president’s boardroom at Kutztown University. It is the first virtual signing for India and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Kenneth S. Hawkinson, Kutztown University president, presided over the ceremony in Kutztown. Vidya Yeravdekar, chairperson, Symbiosis and Hrishikesh Soman, principal, Symbiosis College of Arts & Commerce, and Anita Pantankar, deputy director, Symbiosis Centre for International Education, joined the signing virtually from India. Other attendees included Anne Zayaitz, provost, Kutztown University; Mayor James Schlegel, Borough of Kutztown; and Charles Blocksidge ʼ65, member of the KU Council of Trustees.
“This agreement is a great opportunity for Kutztown University to continue strengthening our commitment to providing cross-cultural exchanges,” Hawkinson said. “Our campus is home to about 100 international students from 30 different countries from around the world. We currently have four students from India, and we are looking forward to having more Indian students come to KU as part of this agreement.”
The initial agreement will include programs in business, psychology and English at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Further agreements will extend to faculty exchange and short-term programs in the future.
“This is one of the remarkable achievements of the Symbiosis College,” Yeravdekar said. “Internationalization is in our DNA. Our students will be enriched by experiences at Kutztown University. We appreciate this relationship.”
The agreement is effective this fall 2018. It will benefit future and current Symbiosis students by streamlining the transfer process to Kutztown. The agreement will also become a gateway for research collaboration, faculty exchanges and scholarly activities between KU and Symbiosis College. As the partnership develops both institutions will seek opportunities for expanded growth between additional academic programs, if appropriate.
“Kutztown University is increasing its international student population through partnerships, exchanges, and brand awareness,” said Dr. Roger Douglas, director, International Admissions and Services, Kutztown University. The KU-Symbiosis College agreement is a means to not only branding Kutztown University internationally, but adding to the diversity of our campus.”
KU and Symbiosis College have agreed to implement collaborations through integrated degree programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Business at KU. These include 3+1 undergraduate program in the subject areas of psychology, English, and business where students from Symbiosis College will earn a bachelor’s degree from their home university and then earn a second bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University in one academic year.
Also this includes the 3+1+2 undergraduate and graduate program in English and Business where students from Symbiosis College will earn a bachelor’s degree from their home university and a second bachelor’s degree from KU. Participating students must meet admission requirements for the host institution and a minimum of 2.00 GPA and/or Symbiosis College’s grade equivalent. They will be eligible for admission to the master’s degree programs in business and English if they earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 at KU and meet graduate admissions requirements for KU.
The +2 graduate programs (Masters) in Business and English where students successfully complete their baccalaureate program in the First Division (Division I) from Symbiosis College would be viewed as having the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree and eligible for graduate study at KU.
The commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the only U.S. state to have established a unique, government-endorsed India Higher Education Initiative, also known as the Pennsylvania Global and Education HUB. The HUB’s purpose is to create stronger connections between universities and colleges in India and the commonwealth and provide opportunities for more Indian students to study at one of the commonwealth’s institutions of higher education. The HUB is a joint activity of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania/Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP).
Symbiosis is a family of 48 academic institutions imparting education for more than 45 years. The Symbiosis International (Deemed University) is one of many institutes with various faculties such as management, law, humanities and social sciences, health and biological sciences, computer studies, engineering, media communication and design. The Symbiosis College of Arts & Commerce imparting education in arts, commerce and liberal arts is the only institute under the Symbiosis banner which is affiliated to the Savitribai Phule Pune University.