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Top Indian universities plan to set up outposts in Britain | India News – Times of India

LONDON: Leading Indian universities and IITs are in talks to open up outposts in Britain to cater to students in the UK.
This comes as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to internationalize Indian higher education — one of the recommendations of the New Education Policy of India.
Michelle Donelan, UK higher education minister, tweeted on Monday: “Our door is always open to the IITs, which could be a tremendous asset to this country. Mutual cooperation in higher education is a great source of strength and friendship between the UK and India.”
Gaitri Kumar, high commissioner of India to the UK, confirmed the plans at an Observer Research Foundation webinar when she said: “Foreign institutes of repute are invited to establish branches of their institutions in India. We have only last week shared the desire of our IITs to open campuses in the UK and I must say that this has been well received. This is another thing I’ll be working on immediately to get the IITs and interested universities here together. India would like her partners to consider India as more than just a market for education because we seek to forge international knowledge relationships, as we believe in an ancient proverb that knowledge is the only wealth that, when shared, enriches the giver and receiver.”
Speaking at the same event, former universities minister Lord Johnson of Marylebone, UK PM Boris Johnson’s brother, said it is important for the UK to intensify its higher education and research ties with India, as the UK is currently overly dependant on China, which brought with it significant risks.
“If there is one country today with the human capital and economic potential to equal China and to become a knowledge partner of comparable importance for the UK, it is, of course, India,” Johnson said. “The sheer number of potential flashpoints with a newly assertive China means that the risk of some kind of geopolitical disruption to the China knowledge relationship is material. In contrast a structural breakdown in relations with India is almost inconceivable,” he said.
Speaking to TOI about the plans for Indian universities and IITs to open in Britain, Johnson said: “You can see from the strength of interest of the UK side that there would be a very warm welcome. It is noteworthy that the UK HE (higher education) minister has already tweeted she would warmly welcome it. If an Indian higher education institution wants to set up in the UK, all it would have to do is to register with Office for Students, pass relevant quality assurance processes and crack on with it.”
Johnson thinks this will help “balance the relationship in higher education”, which is a bit lopsided at present with so many Indian students coming to the UK but so few UK students choosing to study in India.
In 2020-21, 53,000 Indian students came to the UK to study and only 173 British students went to India.
“It will be a fantastic way for India to internationalize its own big global brands in education and there are no brands bigger than the IITs potentially on the world stage, with their track record of producing highly sought after graduates and also scores of global CEOs,” he said.
Graduates from Indian IITs include Sundar Pichai, head of Google, Parag Agrawal, CEO of Twitter, and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
“There is a path for them to open up in their own right in the UK or they could come in in partnership with a UK institution,” Johnson added.
Sanam Arora, chair of Indian student body, NISAU UK, said: “I think the IITs would plug some gaps in British courses in terms of what they offer and offer a different way of working looking at the same problems. In India, we talk of the word jugaad — innovation – Indians are very innovative by design and that natural entrepreneurial bent of mind when combined with the research excellence and ecosystem of the UK can lead to positive outcomes for both countries.”

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