Higher Education Collaboration: Futureproofing The UK India Partnership

With the UK developing policies to enable UK universities to expand their international engagement and India embarking on the largest reform of its higher education sector in a generation, the time is right to ask UK higher education institutions about the future with India.

This report gathers the views of UK universities and business schools on the benefits of UK-India collaboration, the challenges to overcome, and the reform priorities to enable UK and Indian Higher Education institutions and students to most effectively come together.

Education will be vital if India is to reach its economic goals of becoming a $5 trillion economy in the next decade by ensuring the population are suitably qualified to contribute to the country’s growth, as well as driving innovation. India will need support from abroad to educate its huge and growing student population. By 2030, India will have the largest number of people of college-going age, a staggering 140 million.

UK higher education institutions want to play a role in India’s remarkable rise and are very well-placed to do so, with expertise and experience across the four key tenets of excellence, equal access, expansion, and employability, which the Indian Higher Education ecosystem rightly aspires to.

Furthermore, 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.

This research shows that there are complementarities between the UK’s and India’s educational ambitions, but there are significant access barriers that we recommend both Governments address as a priority so that the opportunities can be realised.

UKIBC’s Higher Education Recommendations:

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


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