The Conference and the first in-person meeting of HARMONY project funded by Erasmus+ Programme of the EU,  in which University of Hyderabad  (UoH) is a partner organisation ,  was held at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Deemed to be University, at Mumbai recently.

Prof.N. Siva Kumar, Director, Office for International Affairs (OIA) and UoH project coordinator, HARMONY and Dr.S. Shaji, project team member, attended the Conference titled Internationalization and Virtual Exchange. The HARMONY project on ‘Internationalization and Virtual Exchange: Borderless between EU and Asian Countries’ is being undertaken by a consortium of universities from Europe and Asia. University of Zaragoza, Spain, is the lead University in this project. The other partner institutions in the project include universities /institutions from Spain, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Lithuania, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and India. From India, University of Hyderabad, the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), and the NMIMS are part of the consortium.

The project led by University of Zaragoza would support and strengthen higher education, through increased virtual mobility, accessibility, modernization, and internationalization; thereby facilitating higher cooperation among European and Asian universities. Harmony Project provides a platform for peer learning and sharing of best practices in internationalization. The UoH team of HARMONY project includes Prof. N.Siva Kumar (coordinator), Prof. Vinod Pavarala, Prof. Aparna Rayaprol, Prof. R. Siva Prasad, Prof. J. Prabhakar Rao and Dr. S Shaji.

The first in-person meeting at the conference at NMIMS Mumbai deliberated on operationalizing internationalization in higher education in post-Covid times. Prof. N.Siva Kumar’s (University of Hyderabad) presentation focused on, among various internalization initiatives,  Study in India Program (SIP), which started in 1998 as a flagship program of UoH in its efforts to internationalize campus student mobility, faculty mobility, credit mobility, and cross-cultural learning.  The Conference emphasized the essentiality of internationalization in higher education, not only from the standpoint of practical purposes (such as increasing ranking within various rating/ranking frameworks), but also from the viewpoint of deepening cross-cultural learning, teaching and research. Therefore, various kinds of mobility – student, faculty, credit, based on the principle of cross-cultural notions and thereby promoting various diversities, were highlighted by the Conference.