Globally renowned Universities take a lot of effort to be created. They are not built around one or two disciplines or locations. We had talked of the Yashpal Committee recommendations on Higher Education in India on Drishtikone a little while back.
NYU is an example of how a University can be turned around and made a globally recognized for its excellence. In 1970s, NYU was in a mess and could have been closed down. From there to today where it is one of the top schools in all disciplines has taken a lot of effort.
Now, NYU is setting up shop in Abu Dhabi. Fueled by the passion of John Sexton, the President of New York University, it will have another home in the desert of Middle East.
It was one of those very arcs that carried Sexton from Greenwich Village to the Arabian desert. His fortnightly trips to the UAE are a symbol of his devotion to one of the most audacious, ambitious and strange projects in academia today, the creation of New York University, Abu Dhabi. With his Emirati counterparts, Sexton is proposing to build an American-style research and liberal arts institution that will attract the world’s most elite students and scholars from day one. Just as grandly, Sexton envisions the Abu Dhabi campus as a kind of network hub that will operate in tandem with NYU in Manhattan to power a new “global university” comprising study sites on five continents. And as if all that were still too modest, Sexton believes these global moves will slingshot NYU into the ranks of the Ivy League. If the Abu Dhabi and New York campuses aren’t both ranked among the world’s top 10 universities in 20 years, he says, he’ll consider the whole undertaking a failure.
Can India move to a point where we can create something like NYU? Just one?!
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