In a reverse trend, the UK government is interested in sending British students to study in India. "We want to set up a UK-India school to facilitate British students to come and study in India," informed Bill Rammell (pictured below), UK minister of state, lifelong learning, further and higher education. This is part of a slew of initiatives by the British government to strengthen education ties with India.
"We have a similar model in China, which is very popular. In fact, it is over-subscribed. And we are confident that with India's rising economic importance, many British students would be keen to visit India to get a first-hand experience of the country's politics, education and culture," added Rammell, who was in the Capital to address a skill seminar organised under the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Rammell seemed upbeat about the Indian government's response to the proposal. Following a meeting with D Purandeswari, minister of state for human resource development, higher education, he said: "It has been decided that a working group will now be formed to work out the regulatory framework."
Also, the minister said that UK has decided to pump in additional 3 million to the 23 million funding for UKIERI to boost research collaboration with India. ``Research is a strong feature in our renewed educational ties with India. We also plan to open a Research Council office in Delhi by September, to identify areas for further research collaboration. We would like UK to be India's first choice for education partnerships,'' he added.
Skirting questions on the opposition in India to foreign direct investment (FDI) in higher education, the minister stated: "The education sector in the UK has thrived because it has been open to international influence. In a globalised world, we have to go beyond geographical boundaries, as universities are increasingly becoming international enterprises."