CHENNAI: Keen on strengthening bilateral ties through higher education initiatives, United Kingdom and India are working towards joint accreditation programmes, which will allow students from both the countries to have dual course certification.
At the moment such a collaboration is restricted. But, employers are demanding for graduates with inter-cultural skills and global awareness to work in international teams. Now, a lot of universities in UK are keen on having split Ph.D programmes that come with India and UK mentorship, said Richard Everitt, Director Education and Society, British Council, British High Commission, on the sidelines of a event at IIT Madras on Friday.
This required an UK-India Education Framework and already both the countries are working on a Vision 2020 document. “We are waiting for the new National Education Policy of the Indian government. Within the policy, there are 30 chapters and one is about international engagement. We are hoping that the Indian government will facilitate dual degrees and distance learning. We are also keen on offering online courses for Indian students with a recognised certificate,” Everitt said and added that UK varsities are already attracting lot of Indian talent by showing the industry links and employability. Last year, over 2,000 students got their tier 4 student visa converted into work visa.
However, he acknowledged that there were visa issues resulting in a dip of 49 percent in Indian students pursuing education in UK. But, of the 2.5 million students in the UK, half-a-million are from foreign soil. “We want the best talent and UK government has given a budgetary sanction of 5 million pounds towards scholarship for Indian students, which is highest in history,” Everitt asserted.
On the delay in Indian government announcing the New National Education Policy, he said “We only hope that the policy will be more friendly towards international collaboration.”
Study in India
To encourage cross-country cultural exchange, UK has launched a new programme called Generation UK-India, which aims to bring 25,000 British students to India by 2020. “We started this last year and we had a small group of 40 UK students coming on to do social entrepreneurship in South India. This year, we have 500 students coming to pursue short term courses in Indian universities,” Everitt said, while welcoming the IITs proposed move to directly admit foreign students from 2017.