Largest UK delegation in India to discuss opportunities in transnational education, two-way academic mobility and internationalisation of HE

22 UK universities led by the British Council, Universities UK International (UUKi), Department for Education (DfE UK) and Department for International Trade (DIT UK) to meet Indian government bodies and university leaders UK and Indian education sectors discuss offering dual degrees, joint courses and new partnerships Workshop with representatives from Ministry of Education (MoE), University Grants Commission (UGC), Association of Indian Universities (AIU), AICTE and National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)

New Delhi :  British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, is hosting a delegation comprising of senior UK universities leaders to India. The delegation also includes representatives from Universities UK International (UUKi), Department for Education (DfE UK) and Department for International Trade (DIT UK).

The delegation represents apex education bodies such as the Universities UK International (UUKi), The Russell Group, Universities Wales, and 22 UK higher education institutions, making it the largest ever delegation of higher education leaders from the UK to visit the country. Over June 6-10, the delegation will meet Indian central and state government officials, policymakers and senior university leaders from 10 Indian states, in the national capital, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Kolkata to discuss partnerships and collaborations that meet the NEP’s vision of internationalisation of Indian higher education institutions via promoting transnational education (TNE) and greater two-way student and faculty mobility.

Education, research and innovation are key pillars of the India-UK bilateral relationship. In 2021, both countries announced the ambitious India-UK Roadmap 2030 to expand cooperation between universities of both nations in light of India’s NEP, by working towards mutual recognition of qualifications, enhancing development of direct linkages and partnerships between HEIs of both the countries, and by supporting the two-way mobility of students, teachers and researchers. Aligned to the NEP’s focus on TNE and the world’s top universities setting up campuses in India, the delegation is intent on identifying partnerships and collaborations for the UK’s coveted and trusted educational institutions, across major Indian education hubs.

The inaugural day of the delegation included a workshop on education collaboration between India and the UK helmed by Dr. Manju Singh, Joint Secretary, UGC, Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, Barbara Wickham OBE, Director India, British Council,and Vivienne Stern, Director, Universities UK International. The delegation discussed new policy measures and activities to support internationalisation, quality assurance and collaborating through teaching, industry-academia partnerships and the different models of TNE allowed under the NEP. The forum also discussed development under programmes such as British Council’s Going Global Partnerships, that focusses on strengthening higher education systems by:

  • enabling TNE collaborations for improved learning outcomes for graduates to enhance employability,
  • and accelerating research & innovation collaborations to secure shared solutions for global challenges.

So far 44 grants worth GBP 1.2 Mn have been provided to 107 higher education institutions for joint collaborations. These include 66 institutions from India and 41 from the UK.

Addressing the delegation, Dr. Manju Singh, Joint Secretary, UGC, said, “We welcome the delegation of UK higher education leaders to India to continue the bilateral collaboration in education benefitting both countries. The focus is on increasing two-way mobility of students, faculty as well as institutional mobility between India and the UK. We invite the UK HEIs to work with Indian counterparts to offer twinning, joint degree, and dual degree programmes; as well as explore setting up campuses in GIFT City Gujarat.”


Vivienne Stern, Director, Universities UK International (UUKi) said, “We are delighted to be welcomed here in India for this major delegation. India is a key partner for the UK, and there are huge benefits for both our countries from our close cooperation of our universities in all aspects of higher education, research, and innovation. This is the first major delegation Universities UK has undertaken since the advent of Covid-19, and it is important that so many of our universities are here this week. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to hear from our colleagues here in the Indian about the latest developments, including the New Education Policy, and to learn more about your ambitions for the India-UK relationship. This is a moment to celebrate the deep and extensive links that exist between our universities and the many ways in which our institutions can and do work together, and to set the foundations for our future relationship.”

Barbara Wickham OBE, 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 education systems are best placed to improve the quality of learning through TNE and be the force multipliers for research innovation that can address sustainable growth and global challenges. 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.”

Over the next few days, on the side-lines of their discussions with stakeholders the delegation will also discuss current trends in international student recruitment/mobility in India and the UK.