University Corporate Partnerships: Connecting Universities and Corporates in the UK and India

The University Corporate Partnership (UCP) initiative stemmed from two challenges our members and clients have consistently conveyed to us. The first is that universities tell us it is challenging to forge collaborations and partnerships with Indian businesses. Despite being world leading and highly ranked in their specialist subjects, they find it difficult to capture the attention of Indian corporates as compared to businesses in other countries they engage with.

At the same time, Indian businesses tell us that despite their best efforts, they find it difficult to hire graduates with the skills they need. As a result, they continue to face skills shortages in the workplace and are forced to incur significant costs in retraining and upskilling their employees.

This complex situation is further exacerbated when juxtaposed against the backdrop of constant digital disruption and a rapidly evolving 21st century workplace which increasingly requires its people to be extremely flexible, adaptive and equipped with holistic skills — spanning technical, digital leadership, and soft skills to name a few.

The first stage of the UCP programme comprised of a survey of both Indian corporates and UK universities to understand their specific needs and challenges as well as gauge the potential for new links and partnerships between these stakeholders. Our survey was taken by 44 companies and 14 universities. The majority of respondents were larger, well established companies who already have some level of UK engagement.

This report shares the key findings and highlights of this groundbreaking survey and draws conclusions based on the data acquired.

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