Better matching of India-UK educational initiatives, collaboration in quality assurance and more funding to support student mobility in both directions are among the highlight outcomes of the largest delegation of to Delhi this week.
The British Council, in partnership with Universities UK International (UUKi), Department for International Trade (DIT) and Department for Education (DfE), coordinated a series of workshops, high-level meetings and so-called matchmaking initiatives to enhance higher education collaborations between India and the UK. As part of the India-UK Education Collaboration Workshop, university participants from both countries and sector body representatives explored topics such as levers for India inward mobility, platforms of collaboration and Industry-academia linkage, reporting their findings to the in Delhi and high-level representatives from the Indian Ministry of Education.
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Vivienne Stern, Director of UUKi, said: “The interest of UK universities for India matches the opportunities opened by the National Education Policy (NEP), including in joint campuses, digital learning, and twinning, dual and joint degrees. These opportunities can combine the strengths of UK and India institutions to bring a unique and unprecedented offer to students.
“Given India’s increasing prominence in the world it is very important that UK students and graduates become acquainted with the economy, the culture and the society of India.”
As it emerged that 1,000 students from Britain have chosen India as a destination for international mobility through the UK’s Turing Scheme in its first year running, there was also a focus on better matching initiatives such as the with the Study in India scheme.
“The experience of working through Covid should be harnessed to contribute to India-UK collaboration. Sharing curriculum resources digitally or increasing trust of regulators in fully online and blended learning processes, can help tackle barriers to access in higher education. The key word is ‘access’: the NEP opens a window of opportunity to enhance access to higher education for students in India, in partnership with UK universities,” added Stern.
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While welcoming the growing numbers of student mobility on either side, there was a note of caution struck against complacency to maximise the benefits such international exchange brings to students and graduates.
Barbara Wickham, Director India – British Council, said: “Education and research cooperation is an important pillar of the India-UK bilateral relationship. Strengthening and diversifying links with India is a priority for the UK.
“In the post-pandemic world, international systems are best placed to improve the quality of learning through TNE [transnational education] and be the force multipliers for research innovation that can address sustainable growth and global challenges.”