Managed by the British Council, ‘Generation UK-India’ will assist the students in either working as teaching assistants in Indian schools, undertaking work experience at Indian companies, or completing cultural immersion courses.
The scheme will commence in summer 2015 and aims to strengthen ties between the two countries as well as equip UK students with professional and academic skills unique to the Indian setting.
“It’s great news that over the next five years up to 25,000 young people will get to experience student and working life India,” said Clark.
“This programme will help create a more globally competitive UK workforce and will help future proof the UK-India relationship”
“This programme will help create a more globally competitive UK workforce and will help future proof the UK-India relationship,” he added.
Furqan Qamar, Secretary General of the Association of Indian Universities added that the campaign will “support the internationalisation agenda of Indian universities aimed at promoting excellence and building deeper understanding of cultures between Indian and UK students.”
IndoGenius, an India-based organisation specialising in the internationalisation of Indian higher education, will manage the cultural immersion strand of the scheme, which will be responsible for bringing 11,000 of the 25,000 students to India.
“Growing interest from across UK universities rightly reflects the importance and relevance of India to young British students’ academic interests and future careers,” Nicholas Booker Co-Founder of IndoGenius told The PIE News.
“Growing interest from across UK universities reflects the importance and relevance of India to young British students’ academic interests and future careers”
“As the initiative scales up we hope to encourage and enable more UK universities to establish programmes in India bringing their faculty as well as their students,” he said adding that “one of the greatest strengths of the programme is that students come from a vast variety of courses, institutions and backgrounds.”
Booker underlined that the project links with two government of India initiatives: “Connect to India”, which will provide UK students short courses at some of India’s top universities and “GIAN” which will fund UK faculty to come and teach in India.
Clark’s recent trip to India took place amid concerns about falling inbound Indian student numbers to the UK, after enrolment numbers halved over the last two years, with more decline expected.
Other projects have been launched to build educational relations between the two countries including Study in India which IndoGenius delivers on behalf of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) which launched in 2006 and was extended in 2011 for an additional five years.
Through the project, IndoGenius has organised more than 500 internships at over 60 Indian organisations for UK students including Tata Motors, Air India and Grant Thornton. In 2014 it received 4,595 applications from 131 different UK universities and 52 colleges.
In its first year, Generation UK-India will be supported financially by the UKIERI programme and the British Council as well as host organisations which will cover the costs of participants in country.