Government launches major push to nurture connections across India.
An ambitious initiative is being launched to ask Indian nationals who have graduated from Scottish universities to share their opinions on the benefits of studying in Scotland.
The plan was announced at an alumni reception held at the British High Commissioner’s residence in New Delhi on 25 November, prior to St Andrew’s Day. Deputy First Minister John Swinney delivered a video address to 100 invited guests at the event, including many alumni.
Contacting Indians who have studied in Scotland will form part of the India-wide alumni programme, which will focus on highlighting what a great experience studying in Scotland can be, both personally and professionally. An annual Indian alumni celebration event will now be rotated annually between the Indian capital, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Mr Swinney said:
“Our country and our institutions have been enriched by the many brilliant Indian students who have studied here for well over a century. There are many thousands of Indians around their own country who have graduated from Scottish universities – we want them to become our unofficial ambassadors for everything great about studying and living in Scotland.
“They are ideally placed to tell us what we do well and what we can do better to improve our ties with India. Our hope is this ‘living bridge’ of alumni talent and friendship between our countries will help forge lifelong relationships that might encourage many more Indians to choose to spend their student days in Scotland.”
India is the third biggest non-EU, and seventh international (EU & Non-EU) source of students for Scotland. In 2017/18, 1,660 Indian students were in Scotland on postgraduate and undergraduate courses - a number that has grown by around 20% over the last three years.
The Delhi reception was held a fortnight after another 10 Indian nationals were among the latest cohort of nearly 50 international students welcomed to Scotland to join the Government’s flagship Scotland Saltire Scholars programme this year.
The next round of Saltire Scholarships will open for applications on February 1, 2020. Scotland’s Saltire Scholarship for incoming students was launched in 2009. There are 50 available annually split between students from China, USA, India, Pakistan, Canada, and for the first time from this academic year Japan.
Sixteen of Scotland’s 19 Higher Education Institutes have more than 70 active academic and research links with Indian universities enabling bilateral student mobility, research partnerships and joint course provision.
Flagship research partnerships between Scotland and India:
The University of Dundee and Madras Diabetes Research Foundation:
The university has been awarded a £7 million grant from the National Institute of Health Research Global Health programme to establish this major new Scotland-India clinical partnership to combat diabetes. The project aims establish a clinical partnership to deliver cost-effective precision medicine solutions in diabetes.
The University of Glasgow and Tata Consultancy Services:
A memorandum of understanding has been signed to facilitate sharing of research data between Scotland’s second oldest university and the massive Indian conglomerate in IT, wearable technologies, metagenomics, metabolic disease and microbiomes.
The University of Strathclyde and New Town Kolkata Development Authority:
The agreement is to collaborate on research on the sustainable development of a new satellite city in West Bengal.
Glasgow Kelvin College and Government Polytechnic for Women, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh:
The two sides are working extensively with the British Council to deliver sustainable programmes in fashion and garment design, social justice partnerships involving acid survivors, domestic abuse survivors and people with disability.