UK and India
Both the UK and India are implementing higher education policies that welcome increased global engagement. Source: William Fortunato/Pexels

The UK will soon seek more exchange partnerships with India, in line with its latest International Education Strategy. This comes as details of the Turing scheme are being rolled out ahead of the first cohort in September 2021. The UK and India will also pursue more transnational collaborations thanks to India’s new National Education Policy — this means Indian students can look forward to not having to leave home to earn a UK degree.

The UK Department for Education (DfE) identifies India as one of the countries where the UK will urgently “help increase the value of education exports and international student numbers.” As it stands, India is one of the top source countries for international students in the UK — bested only by China. It will therefore be one of the main countries in which UK universities seek to strike student exchange projects come March when bidding opens.

“In these unprecedented times, having a proactive global education agenda is more important than ever so we can build back better from the pandemic. Our world-class education is a vital part of our economy and society, and we want to support universities, schools, colleges and all aspects of the education sector to thrive across the globe,” said UK Universities Minister Michelle Donelan. 

The Turing scheme is positioned as a post-Brexit replacement to the Erasmus+ global exchange programme. It recently launched a website with funding and application details for universities and aims to support students in the UK on their study and work abroad placements abroad. In this way, the scheme will help boost global growth opportunities — a vital part of higher education recovery post-pandemic.

UK and India

India is one of the top source countries for international students in the UK. Source: Prakash Singh/AFP

Transnational ties between UK and India to grow

The UK and India have established several education links, including in research collaboration through the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). UKIERI has facilitated the exchange between research talents for 15 years, sowing the seeds for long-term collaboration efforts between UK and India on mutual challenges.

UK’s increased interest is spurred by “notably invigorated interest in UK education from India”, according to the UK government. At the same time, India’s new National Education Policy is being received as an encouraging step forward for transnational education — in that more UK universities would offer their degrees in India

Industry insiders spoke positively of the NEP’s potential during the Universities UK Transnational Conference 2021. “This was something which was missing for years. Many top employers used to complain that they recruit students from universities but spend months reskilling them, retraining them and reorienting them,” said Jayesh Ranjan, vice-chancellor at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University HyderabadHe believes the NEP will accelerate transnational education plans that have been unfolding in the past few years.