Highlights: All that was discussed by the largest delegation of UK universities to Delhi this week

As part of the India-UK Education Collaboration Workshop, university participants from both countries and sector body representatives explored several topics
Check it out | (Pic: EdexLive)
Check it out | (Pic: EdexLive)

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 UK universities to Delhi this week, stated a PTI copy.

The British Council, in partnership with Universities UK International (UUKi), the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the 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 starting on Monday, June 6.

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 British High Commissioner in Delhi and high-level representatives from the Indian Ministry of Education.

"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," said Vivienne Stern, Director of UUKi, as quoted in a copy by PTI.

"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," she said.

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 Turing Scheme 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.," she shared.

"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.

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.

"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," said Barbara Wickham, Director India - British Council.

"In the post-pandemic world, international education 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," she said.

"At the British Council, we always seek new opportunities to partner with India's knowledge ambitions. With the NEP's focus on international collaboration, the UK is looking to explore mutually beneficial partnerships that result in greater faculty and student exchange and enhance research excellence more than ever before," she added.

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