The University of Surrey is heading a group of institutions to forge new academic partnerships with Indian universities. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal was here the university on 15th January to ink the deal. Surrey isn’t the only university in this partnership – as other major universities such as University of London, University of Southampton, University of Kent, and University of Sussex would be participating in this partnership too; with University of Surrey as the coordinating institute.
What this does is that it lays down the groundwork for agreements with possibly even more Indian institution. During a lunch I had this semester with Vice Chancellor Christopher Snowden, he spoke in detail about his vision of creating ties with institutions of higher learning globally. Surrey already does world-class research in electronics, space exploration, health and medicine etc – so the idea is that we share our expertise in the fields we are strong in, and in return strengthen our research in fields the partner institution is good in. This is part of an overall plan to push the university higher in overall ranking within the next ten years.
University of Surrey already has existing partnerships with many universities worldwide, but this is a breakthrough from the Indian perspective as this agreement with IISER Pune is the first agreement with an Indian institution. What this allows is the ability for exchange programmes for students and academics to be set up, and research to be conducted in conjunction with partner institutes. Surrey already does study exchanges and research collaboration with its partner institutions; heck, even I’m probably going on an exchange in my second year.
What this does is that it lays down the groundwork for partnerships with an even greater number of universities in India. If I’m not wrong, the recently made partnership is a first of sorts for any because it allows for study exchanges.
PS – The University of Surrey Students’ Union is running a campaign to raise £3000 for Haiti earthquake relief. If you haven’t thought about donating to Haiti relief yet, this is your chance to join in!