UCL’s First India Summer School Welcomes Students

Based at the cutting-edge campus of The British School New Delhi from 10-14 June, leading UCL professors ran research-led teaching sessions for small groups of prospective students from across the country on a range of interdisciplinary topics.

UCL alumni Anika Dhawan, Akshat Khandelwal and Mandeep Singh chatted to participants about their experiences of studying in London, applying to universities and forging careers after graduation. Current undergraduates also took part, including third year student Adya Chetiya from Delhi, who live-streamed from UCL’s Bloomsbury campus for a virtual tour and Q&A.

The study pathways for students to explore included:

  • Psychology and the Human Brain
  • Medical Sciences and Artificial Intelligence
  • Creative and Cultural Industries
  • Management, Business and Law
  • Climate Change and Cities of the Future
  • Public Policy in Science, Engineering and Technology

Dr Michael Collins (UCL History), Professor Priti Parikh (UCL Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment), Professor Daniel Richardson (UCL Brain Sciences), Dr Manzur Rashid and Nidhi Chaudhary (both UCL Engineering) were among academics delivering sessions.

Alison Barrett MBE, Country Director for the British Council in India, and Vishu Sharma, Senior Project Manager – Higher Education, British Council also addressed the students as part of the programme.

Participants finished the week presenting group projects on each study pathway to their classmates, and were treated to a high tea celebrating their achievements and awarded a certificate by Kirsty Walker, UCL’s Vice-President (External Engagement) and Professor Geraint Rees, Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation & Global Engagement).

Dr Michael Collins (UCL History), who oversaw development and delivery of the Summer School, said: “India is a remarkable country. It was an absolute privilege to work on the Summer School curriculum design and planning, and then lead the teaching team in Delhi, seeing the whole thing come to life. As is so often the case, it was the people that made the difference: UCL leaders’ willingness to explore new ideas, inspirational UCL professors, unyielding energy from the Indian students, and a consummately professional local partner in the form of The British School New Delhi.”

Kirsty Walker, Vice-President (External Engagement) said: “UCL has a fantastic global community of staff, alumni and students and we were delighted to give pre-university students from across India a taste of what it’s like to study with us this week. I hope to welcome many on campus soon.”

Vanita Uppal OBE, Director, The British School New Delhi, said: “A shared vision of making exceptional, multidisciplinary learning opportunities available to students from across the country makes the partnership between The British School New Delhi and the UCL India Summer School truly special. Our shared values of nurturing global citizens who are compassionate and principled critical thinkers came to fruition over the five-day inaugural UCL Summer School here at The British School New Delhi. Witnessing the learner outcomes and their engagement, this is a story with a sequel for sure!”

Student participant Shreshth Gupta, from Karnal, Haryana, said: “Attending the UCL India Summer School was an exceptionally unique, outstanding, and unforgettable experience. The curriculum diverged significantly from traditional education patterns, offering us in-depth knowledge. Moreover, the TBS and UCL faculties were highly supportive and approachable, particularly Dr Manzur Rashid and Dr Michael Collins. The connections we formed during this time will stay with us forever.”

The Summer School marks UCL’s ongoing commitment to collaborating with India. Later this year, the first recipients of the recently launched UCL India Excellence Scholarships will arrive on campus. The scheme aims to support Indian students with an outstanding academic record to pursue full-time Master’s degree studies at UCL. Thirty-three scholarships will be available for the 2024-25 academic year, awarded to exceptional students who have, or are on track to achieve, a first-class degree. A further 67 scholarships will be awarded during the following two years.
UCL has a thriving community of nearly 1,000 Indian students and more than 3,000 alumni in India. The Summer School provided UCL with the opportunity to reconnect with its alumni communities and philanthropic supporters, with more than 100 alumni attending receptions in Mumbai and New Delhi, where they were able to expand their professional networks, make new connections and rekindle old friendships.

Udit Singhal, an alum of both UCL and The British School New Delhi, was recently featured on Forbes India’s 30 Under 30 list, recognised for pioneering an innovative and environmentally friendly technology that converts used glass bottles into sand through his company Glass2Sand.