More and more Indian students are interested in joining graduate courses in sustainability in US universities, feels Dr Pradeep Haldar, director of sustainable business, courtesy faculty and adjunct professor at the
of Global Sustainability, University of South Florida, Tampa. “The interest in India in these courses are still at a nascent stage but we expect growth going forward,” Dr
told the Times of India. Currently there are over half a dozen Indian students enrolled for the masters graduate programmes that Patel College has been offering for science and arts students for the last ten years. “There is growing interest globally in our sustainability courses; it’s already big in Europe and gaining traction in Asia too because of climate change and clean energy issues. We were one of the first universities in the US to launch a master’s programme in sustainability and fulfil the need to provide hands on practical education,” Haldar said.
The two masters programmes offered by the school in arts and science attracts students from diverse streams including communications, marketing, law, history, environmental and other engineering disciplines and sciences. “This is a new and emerging space and many of our students find opportunities for internship and work even before they finish. For students from India, there are several employment opportunities available during their optional practical training (OPT) and they get hired by companies or government organisations which are looking for students with the right qualifications. Those enrolled in the
streams have a longer OPT available to them,” Haldar said. He added that regulations around sustainability issues are driving demand among companies to hire students who are prepared with hands on practical knowledge. “Our students spend a couple of semesters as interns working on projects with companies,” said Haldar, who is also president at Halovation, a management and technology consulting organisation for clean energy, semiconductor and materials technology.
With the University of South Florida attracting a large number of Indian students every year, Patel College, too, is now looking at an uptick. “Many of the programmes at USF have big numbers of Indian students. Our masters programme has growing importance for both science and arts students and we expect more students from India as well,” Haldar, who has over 30 years of experience in business development, strategic planning, research and development and public-private partnerships, said.