The British Council has announced the allocation of 12 new grants and 2 top-up grants, totaling £500,000, to foster industry-academia collaborations between India and the UK. This development comes as part of the British Council's Going Global Partnerships (GGP) program and was unveiled during the India-UK Higher Education Conference held in Delhi.
Over the past three years, the GGP initiative has disbursed around £2 million in grants, benefiting 155 universities (100 in India and 55 in the UK) and facilitating 13 industry partnerships. This program has played a pivotal role in enhancing educational standards and promoting internationalisation, with a focus on courses related to climate studies and sustainability, leading to the creation of 36 new courses.
The GGP program has also contributed to a notable increase in the enrollment of UK Transnational Education (TNE) programs, with numbers surging from 9,050 to over 12,000 since the end of the 2021/22 academic year. This growth has been accompanied by improvements in education quality, employability, and research collaborations.
During the week of September 18-22, the UK's education sector delegation engaged with government officials from both central and state governments in India. They held discussions with policymakers and met with senior university leaders representing 19 Indian states across Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Chennai. The delegation also visited prestigious educational institutions, including IIT Delhi and Ashoka University.
The central theme of this year's conference was the promotion of higher education internationalisation and transnational education. The GGP program, which has already facilitated 26 partnerships among 15 institutions in Delhi and the National Capital Region, took centre stage.
The British Council worked closely with the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) to bring together representatives from 31 UK higher education institutions, including key bodies like the British Universities International Liaison Association (BUILA), Universities UK International (UUKi), the Department for Education (DfE UK), and Pearson. Their aim was to explore partnership opportunities in transnational education and internationalisation with various Indian universities and 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).
Dr. Subhas Sarkar, the Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Education, Government of India, highlighted the importance of internationalisation in the National Education Policy 2020 and commended the strengthened educational ties between India and the UK.
Alison Barrett MBE, Director India, British Council, emphasised the significance of collaboration in education and research, aligning with India's educational aspirations and the UK's commitment outlined in the UK-India Roadmap 2030.
The conference discussions centred on enhancing India-UK collaborations in science, research, and innovation to tackle global challenges, while also fostering prospective higher education partnerships. These objectives closely align with the National Education Policy (NEP), the UK-India 2030 Roadmap, and G20 education priorities. The delegates also discussed the opportunities arising from the Foreign Collaboration Regulation of the UGC and the Mutual Recognition of Qualifications (MRQs).