College of Liberal Arts

South Asia Institute to Partner with Women’s University in Pakistan

Wed, Sep 26, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas — The South Asia Institute at The University of Texas at Austin has initiated a three-year partnership with Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, that will bring faculty members from FJWU to Austin in January to work on research and course development in liberal arts and communication.

Each semester, FJWU faculty members will spend four months in Austin, to be followed by a two-week visit from University of Texas at Austin faculty members to FJWU in Pakistan.

The partnership aims to help raise The University of Texas at Austin’s profile as a global leader in expanding knowledge and improving lives. It will concentrate on the professional development of FJWU faculty members, with a focus on the exchange of academic values and on building capacity for teaching and research in the areas of women’s and gender studies, social anthropology, communication and media studies. The program’s administration will be housed in the South Asia Institute, which is part of the College of Liberal Arts.

"The relationship between UT Austin and FJWU will be grounded in mutual intellectual respect and sensitivity to the relative strengths of each institution,” said Kamran Asdar Ali, director of the South Asia Institute. “We at SAI envisage a partnership where scholars from each university learn from one another to create an enduring impact on the academic lives and communities of both universities."

Starting in January 2013, four FJWU faculty members will travel to Austin each semester to work directly with their American counterparts. The South Asia Institute will facilitate close collaboration with the university’s Center of Women’s and Gender Studies, the Department of Anthropology and select faculty members from the College of Communication’s School of Journalism and the Department of Radio-Television-Film.

The partnership was made possible by a $999,600 grant from the United States Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, which is also funding similar partnerships, with a focus on liberal arts, at seven other American universities.

U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer Kathryn Schalow said the initiatives are aimed to improve the quality of K-16 education in Pakistan.

“Our goal is to unlock Pakistan’s extraordinary potential,” said Schalow.

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