South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

University Partnership Programs

Since 2013, SAI has initiated three formal University Partnerships with Pakistani institutions of higher education. Each has been funded by three-year grants from the US Department of State/United States Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. Engaging in the University Partnerships has allowed SAI to bring over 60 Pakistani scholars, musicians, and filmmakers to study with faculty and student peers at UT Austin.  More than 50 UT students and faculty have had the opportunity to visit their colleagues in Pakistan as well, to teach workshops, collaborate on artistic and academic projects, and participate in conferences.

Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi

Fatima Jinnah Women UniversityStarting in Spring 2013, four faculty members from Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) traveled to Austin each semester for a three-year period to work directly with their American counterparts. The scholars developed courses in their respective areas to co-teach with UT-Austin faculty at FJWU. SAI facilitated close collaboration with UT Austin’s Center for 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 concluded with an international conference in Spring 2016 at FJWU with the theme “Gender, Social Sciences and Humanities: New Directions in Scholarship.” SAI’s partnership with FJWU aimed to help raise UT Austin’s profile as a global leader in expanding knowledge and improving lives. The partnership concentrated 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. 

National Academy of Performing Arts, Karachi

Sangat EnsembleBeginning in Fall 2013, faculty members at UT Austin’s Butler School of Music (BSOM) mentored visiting junior faculty and students from Pakistan’s National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) under a three-year partnership. SAI facilitated the exchange of musicians as well as a series of lectures, training sessions, and performances. NAPA was established in Karachi in 2005 to teach performing arts and music to students to preserve the country’s rich cultural heritage. The partnership focused on building the creative capacity of NAPA teachers and students by providing skills in music composition, music theory, and orchestration and training in areas such as piano, voice, and percussion. The partnership culminated in a musical fusion project and ensemble, Sangat, with original compositions by NAPA faculty and BSOM professors Russell Pinkston and Stephen Slawek. Under the guidance of BSOM’s Sonia Seeman, the ensemble performed in Austin, Houston, Karachi, and Islamabad. With a grant extension, the partnership will wrap up in Spring 2018 with a showcase at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin. Sangat’s members look forward to continuing, long-term collaborations, exchanges of musical compositions, and sharing pedagogical techniques.

National College of Arts, Lahore

National College of ArtsIn Spring 2016 SAI embarked on a three-year university partnership between the National College of Arts (NCA) and UT Austin’s Department of Radio-Television-Film (RTF) in the Moody College of Communication. Each semester, BSOM faculty members are mentoring four NCA faculty and students in Film and Television Arts. SAI facilitates the exchange of scholars as well as a series of lectures, training sessions, collaborative film projects, and a capstone film festival planned under the program. The NCA, previously The Mayo School of Arts, was established in 1875—the last of four art schools in India to be founded during British colonial rule. The Film & Television Department is the most recent addition to the college and offers a 4-year Bachelor Degree program. This department was the first of its kind in the country to provide formal training and education in the medium of Film and Television Productions when it was launched in 2004. The UT-NCA partnership focuses on building the creative capacity of NCA teachers and students by enhancing skills in script writing, cinematography, direction, visual effects, audio production, sound design, and editing along with all other aspects of documentary and narrative film making. More than 15 scholars and filmmakers from NCA will visit UT over the duration of the partnership. UT RTF faculty and affiliates working under the program have also traveled to Pakistan to conduct intensive workshops on filmmaking techniques and to coordinate on collaborative film projects.