Prof Sir Steve Smith

Vice-Chancellor joins Minister’s delegation to India

Professor Sir Steve Smith touched down in India this week as part of a delegation led by Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister for Universities and Science, to attend the India-UK Science Innovation Council meeting and the UK-India Bilateral Education Forum.

His seven day visit will also involve giving the keynote speech to open the second day of the global FICCI Higher Education Summit 2014 on 14 November and hosting a University of Exeter alumni and supporters reception in New Delhi.

Sir Steve said of the visit: “It is becoming increasingly important for the UK to forge meaningful international partnerships in key regions across the world. For a UK top ten university like Exeter, having close links with other institutions internationally is vital to producing world leading research. Our aim is to be recognised in the global top 100 and raising our profile around the world is key to achieving this goal.

"It is also about informing prospective Indian students that the UK continues to welcome the brightest and best to study with us.  Despite the recent downturn in the number of Indians studying in the UK, current Indian enrolments at Exeter are up 53% this year for Masters programmes and up 58% for undergraduate programmes - a trend we want to see continue at Exeter and across the wider UK Higher Education sector.”

The Vice-Chancellor will also be visiting the University of Calcutta and meeting with its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Suranjan Das, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.

The University of Calcutta is regarded as one of the top universities in India for Humanities and Social Sciences.   Following a visit by Professor Das to Exeter in May 2013, discussions have been ongoing with the College of Humanities regarding collaborative research, particularly in the field of History.  University of Calcutta students have also participated in the University of Exeter International Summer School.

Professor Andrew Thorpe, Dean of Humanities at Exeter, and Professor Das are in discussions about a research project which will use UK and Indian archives to examine the activities of, and national approaches to, Indian nationals studying in the UK in the first half of the twentieth century.

This latest visit follows on from February 2013 when Sir Steve accompanied the Prime Minister David Cameron on a three day visit to India, one of just six UK universities to do so.

People can keep in touch with the University’s activity in India via its facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/exeterinindia

Date: 13 November 2014

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