Britain’s University of Plymouth, exploring for more linkages with India, recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Kaziranga University, Assam. The tie-up is rare one between a British university and a north-eastern institution.
Kaziranga University will leverage Plymouth’s expertise in areas like robotics, engineering and computing to bring together the three themes shaping the future of education — education and society, education and learning science and education and learning tools, “to form a new learning framework through their School of Management Studies and School of Engineering.”
The university plans to weave in employability skill into the research-backed curriculum as the collaboration takes effect. Employability is a key feature of courses offered by Plymouth, its tagline being “the enterprise university”.
The university is expected to ink more agreements with Indian institutions in Delhi NCR, Visakhapatnam, Bhubaneswar and Pune, as well as with a Hyderabad-based hydrographic survey company in the near future. (The university offers a host of marine science and allied courses and is investing £19m to build a global marine centre with a highly-advanced wave tank.)
A partnership between Plymouth and a Pune institute is on the cards, informed Bill Rammell, deputy vice-chancellor, University of Plymouth, who was in New Delhi recently. “We are working on a number of joint arrangements. We are also in discussions with a liberal arts institution in Pune for validation and accreditation of their programme. On top of that we are looking for more partnerships.”
The university is interested in sending its students to India as well. “We have launched a summer programme in China for our students and we want to expand that to India,” said Rammell, who has earlier worked as Minister of State for Further and Higher Education and Minister of State at the Foreign Office in the UK.
Talking about the effectiveness of such cross-cultural programmes for students, Rammell said anecdotal evidence suggested it added to a learner’s experience. “Every academic who has overseen this exchange says that students come back brimming with confidence,” he said, adding that nationally it has been shown to improve their employability.
“Students are more than happy to promote the programme,” said Peter Ingram, head of international office, University of Plymouth. While they are not interested in a local campus model, Rammell tried to give assurances about quality control and statutory recognition of the courses. (Hindustan Times)