Hyderabad : the UK India Business Council held a round table discussion on its recently released Higher Education Report titled ‘Higher Education Collaboration: Futureproofing the UK India Partnership’.
Several stakeholders representing State Government, UK Businesses, Indian Businesses, and Higher Education Institutions participated in this roundtable discussion to explore UK-Telangana collaboration in the field of higher education.
The higher education report is the result of an extensive survey of UK universities and business schools, and in-depth consultation between the UKIBC, Universities UK, and Chartered Association of Business Schools.
Speaking in advance of the delegation in Hyderabad, the UKIBC’s Kevin McCole, Managing Director, UKIBC said, “There is clearly already a strong India-UK higher education relationship. There were 22,000 new Indian students in the UK this year, up 42% on last year and double the number of 3 years ago. But the relationship is much broader, and we see from our report that UK institutions have a huge appetite to partner with Indian institutions and employers. They, like the UKIBC, are determined to help India achieve its full potential and be a 21st century economic super power.”
The UKIBC delegation of 7 UK higher education institutions (University of Arts London, University of East Anglia, Manchester Metropolitan University, Florence Higher Education, University of Birmingham, University of Essex, and University of Bristol) are in Hyderabad on a two day visit. The delegates had a wide range of meetings, including with Government, Higher Education Institutions and employers. The delegation would be travelling to Delhi next, followed by Mumbai for similar interactions.
The British Deputy High Commissioner Hyderabad, Andrew Flemming, on being asked about the delegation visit, said “This is the second delegation of Universities we are welcoming in 2 months and I am delighted to receive them. There is a growing desire among British institutions to forge mutually beneficial collaboration both their Indian counterparts and with industry. In a dynamic city like Hyderabad which has a global reputation for innovation the possibilities are endless; I am confident introductions made by this visit will lead to some truly exciting outcomes.”
Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce had the following to say at the report launch, “Improving employability of graduates is the key to make students job ready. What we must see is the interlinkage new age education to the current education system with industry resources to ensure that workforce has the rightful skills set.”
Key points from Higher Education report:
The UKIBC report clearly identifies the number one issue that would be a game changer for the UK-India higher education relationship – a Mutual Recognition Agreement, which would facilitate student engagement and institutional partnerships, including research partnerships.
Building mutually effective higher education collaboration between the UK and India is one of the most important steps that can be taken by both Governments to future proof the UK-India partnership as it will improve the skills-base, investment and trade flows, and generate more jobs and prosperity in both countries. A Mutual Recognition Agreement would deliver a lot, for both countries.
The UKIBC recommends as a priority five key actions for the Governments of India and the UK to work on to improve higher education in both countries and expand the scope for bilateral collaboration:
1) Mutual Recognition Agreement of foreign qualifications
2) The Government of India should look beyond a university’s overall rankings when setting rules on which international institutions can partner in India
3) Schemes should be introduced to stimulate bilateral collaboration to deliver online learning programmes.
4) The Government of India should make employability skills for graduates a top priority and consider UK models to effectively integrate vocational skills with mainstream education
5) Both Governments should stimulate and support a university-to-university dialogue on university social responsibility.