British Council Allocates An Extra £500k Grants To Foster Industry-Academia Collaborations


New Delhi: The British Council, the UK’s renowned institution for fostering cultural relations and educational prospects has granted 12 new and 2 additional awards totaling £500k to support collaborations between industry and academia in both India and the UK. These grants are a part of the Going Global Partnerships (GGP) initiative. The unveiling took place during the India-UK Higher Education Conference in Delhi which coincided with the largest-ever delegation from the UK’s education sector visiting India, alongside representatives from India’s education sector.

Over the past 3 years, the GGP has enabled 70 grants of about £2 million delivered to 155 universities (100 in India, 55 in the UK) and 13 industry collaborations, impacting over 5,000 students. The GGP has enabled the development of courses that allow easy credit comparability while meeting global standards of education. The programme has enabled 36 new courses, with six courses aimed at climate studies and sustainability. GGP has also facilitated an increase of over 30% in the number of enrolments for UK TNE programmes from 9,050 to over 12,000 since the close of academic year 2021/22, while enhancing education quality, employability, and research partnerships. 

Over the week from September 18-22, the delegation will convene with government officials from both central and state governments in India, engage in discussions with policymakers, and hold meetings with senior university leaders representing 19 Indian states. These interactions will take place across the national capital, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Chennai. In Delhi, the delegation will be visiting a couple of institutes – IIT Delhi and Ashoka University. This year, the foremost focus of the conference was to promote the internationalisation of higher education and promotion of transnational education with updates from the GGP programme, which has enabled 26 partnerships across 15 educational institutions in just Delhi and the national capital region. 

British Council coordinated with the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) to bring together representatives from 31 UK higher education institutions, including British Universities International Liaison Association (BUILA), Universities UK International (UUKi), the Department for Education (DfE UK) and Pearson to explore partnership opportunities in transnational education and internationalisation with various Indian universities as well as government bodies, including the University Grants Commission (UGC), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and Association of Indian Universities (AIU). 

The Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Education, Government of India, Dr. Subhas Sarkar, Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, Sir Steve Smith, International Education Champion, Government of UK, Maddalaine Ansell, Director Education, British Council, Alison Barrett MBE, Director India, British Council and Rittika Chanda Parruck, Director Education India, British Council, attended sessions at the conference and the Going Global Partnerships Exhibition. The delegation deliberated on new policy measures and activities to support internationalisation, quality assurance and collaborating through teaching, and the different models of TNE allowed under the NEP.  

Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Education, Government of India, Dr. Subhas Sarkar, said, “Internationalisation is a cornerstone of the National Education Policy 2020. The government is actively crafting regulations to promote collaborations between educational institutions worldwide. The relationship between the UK and India in the realm of education has never been stronger. Both nations have signed an MoU for the Mutual Recognition of Qualifications. This landmark agreement will facilitate the mobility of students, fostering a vibrant exchange of knowledge and ideas, and enriching education on both sides. I am glad to witness the commendable work being undertaken by the Going Global Partnerships Programme which has significantly bolstered higher education ties between India and the UK.” 

Alison Barrett MBE, Director India, British Council, said, “We are delighted to organise the India-UK Higher Education Conference 2023 and look forward to bringing together education leaders from the UK and India yet again this year. Collaboration in education and research stands as a key tenet of the India-UK bilateral relationship and we look forward to the meetings between representatives from 31 UK higher education institution and bodies, coordinated by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and key education stakeholders from India. At the British Council, we actively seek new avenues for collaboration to align with India’s educational aspirations. The UK places a high priority on strengthening and diversifying its connections with India, as indicated in the UK-India Roadmap 2030.”

“With the National Education Policy (NEP) emphasising international cooperation, the UK is eager to explore mutually advantageous partnerships that foster increased faculty and student exchange and elevate research excellence. As we build on the activities from last year, including the priorities set out in the G20 meetings, we plan to keep on creating more touch points between educational stakeholders across India and the UK, to jointly pave the way to growth,” Barrett added.

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Building upon conversations from the previous edition, the delegation focused on strengthening India-UK collaborations in science, research, and innovation to jointly address global challenges. It also aimed to identify and nurture prospective higher education partnerships, aligning closely with the goals outlined in the National Education Policy (NEP) and the UK-India 2030 Roadmap as well as the declarations made at the G20 under the education priority. At the conference, the delegates also shared insights regarding the opportunities presented by the Foreign Collaboration Regulation of the UGC and the Mutual Recognition of Qualifications (MRQs). 

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

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