If a university wants to make a global impact, it must have meaningful engagement with India. The country is the world’s biggest democracy, with a population larger than the U.S., Europe and Latin America combined. India has brilliant students, researchers and entrepreneurs who are among the world’s best in numerous fields, including medicine, technology and science. But the country also faces enormous challenges with public health, poverty, gender inequality, environmental degradation and many other things.

India highly values education and by the end of this decade, the nation will have more college graduates than any other nation bar China, giving it 24 million graduates between the ages of 25 and 34 – 12 percent of the world’s total, says the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. India’s official count of higher-education institutions is nearly 26,500, the world’s biggest country total.

President Mary Sue Coleman led a delegation to India on Nov. 13-17, 2013, to explore the possibilities of new partnerships and seek ways to build on U-M’s extensive relationships in medicine, public health, engineering and survey research.

Other goals of the trip were to strengthen alumni relationships and find ways to increase opportunities for students from both sides to participate in study abroad programs.