Last week Laureate International Universities and UPES brought together students, members of the Indian government, prominent business and academic leaders, to engage in a discourse with former US secretary of state Dr. Condoleezza Rice, on issues of economic prosperity, foreign policy, global trends in education and the importance of quality higher education.
The address took place at The Claridges Hotel in New Delhi. Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Honourable Minister of State for Human Resource Development graced the event.
In her address, Dr. Rice spoke about her views on India, global interconnectivity and the importance of higher education, which the Laureate network and UPES provide. She said, "It is a privilege to be educated. It is because you are among the educated that you have amazing opportunities to contribute towards moving your country forward. There is nothing like a high quality education to transform you into something that you otherwise might never have been, but in order to be fully transformed in your education you have to take some responsibility as you become educated".
“It is an honour to have Dr. Rice in our midst, to provide an insight to our students on the importance of higher education and the need for responsible global citizenship. It was very fulfilling today to witness 100 of our students sharing thoughts, ideas and inspiration with a world leader. Laureate International Universities’ mission is to expand access to quality higher education globally. We are fortunate to now be able to do so in India through our partnerships with UPES and the Pearl Academy. ”, said Neel Broker, Chief Executive Officer at Laureate Education India
Dr. Parag Diwan, Vice Chancellor of UPES said “In the past 6 months, our students have had the opportunity to interact with the Hon’ble President of India at our 10th Convocation, and to engage in dialogue with Dr. Rice. This is indeed a privilege for us all, and a sign of positive things to come. Dr. Rice addressed the issue of quality education, technology as an enabler, and the need for innovation – each of these are part of our DNA at UPES”.
Additionally, Dr. Rice addressed questions from students in the audience on topics ranging from energy independence to the rise of India and China. In response to a student’s question about whether education should be completely nationalized, she said, “Higher education must have a combination of both public and private colleges in order to keep competition, variety and better options. Online education plays a huge role in providing economy in education; it saves money and enables one to shorten the length of a course if required. Private universities have an extremely important role to play in maintaining quality in the system as a whole, as it rapidly evolves."
The session concluded with Dr. Shashi Tharoor sharing some of his views on the topics touched upon by Dr. Rice and paying his condolences to Nelson Mandela. Dr. Tharoor revisited the memory of his first meeting with Dr. Rice and paid tribute to her many global achievements.