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India-UK University & Industry Roundtable sparks huge opportunities for new collaboration

On 29th June, as part of the annual Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) CEOs delegation to London, CWEIC hosted a UK-India Industry & University Roundtable at Marlborough House in partnership with The Association of Commonwealth Universities, Universities UK International, and with the support of the University of Durham .

A very engaging conversation on all sides led to a number of proposals around how UK universities can build strong partnerships in India – both with academic institutions and industry.

Among the areas discussed was facilitating greater exchange of interns between the two countries and strengthening the UK’s engagement with CII’s Global Innovation and Technology Alliance. H.E. Dinesh K. Patnaik, Indian Deputy High Commissioner to London spoke of the need to maintain strong high level India-UK relations by ensuring that future leaders in both countries have chances to study at the other country’s universities.

Naushad Forbes, Immediate Past President of CII, called on India to upscale investments in R&D by a factor of five to support growing industries and lift India’s current level of R&D to GDP of 0.3%, well below the global average.

A clear mismatch was further identified between the Indian academic environment, where demand for PhD holders far outstrips supply in academic positions and the UK, where the opposite applies. Participants agreed to work to identify how to make the most of this opportunity.

Exciting proposals were also put forward for the creation of degree programmes recognised across the Commonwealth and split degrees whereby students could complete a single programme in multiple Commonwealth countries, moving on each year.

CWEIC and our partner organisations will be looking to move ahead with all of these proposals in the coming months and in the run up to the Commonwealth Business Forum and Commonwealth Summit in the UK in 2018.