A new India-UK bilateral pilot scheme has been launched to support Britain's universities to collaborate with Indian partners in order to send UK students to India during their studies.
The "UKEIRI Mobility Programme: Study in India", an initiative of Universities UK International (UUKi) and British Council India, opened on Tuesday and aims to generate up to 200 opportunities for undergraduate students at UK universities to visit India by March 2021.
Priority for the programme to visit India during their courses will be given to students from traditionally under-represented groups.
"International opportunities such as these can offer fantastic benefits to our UK students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to set them up for exciting, successful careers," said UK Universities Minister Chris Skidmore.
"Not only do these opportunities offer students the chance to further their personal development through rich cultural and academic experiences in India, but they also help to develop our own ''global citizens'' who are ready to succeed in an increasingly international marketplace," he said.
The Study in India programme will support national and institutional-level objectives to increase the levels of outward student mobility from the UK to 13 per cent by 2020, as set out in UUKi's "Go International: Stand Out" campaign.
It is also aimed at supporting the employability of UK graduates and help them prepare for a globally competitive workforce as well as support the internationalisation of Indian higher education through the diversification of the student body, and the consolidation of inter-institutional partnerships.
Vivienne Stern, Director, Universities UK International, said: "We know that students who go abroad tend to do better academically and professionally.
We also know that exchanging students supports the development of strategic partnerships between universities.
"This scheme will be good for individual students and good for UK universities, but it also fits neatly with the government of India's goal to attract a greater number of international students and support the development of international networks for some of India's strongest universities."
The programme will be funded by the UK and Indian governments as part of Phase 3 of the UK-India Education Research Initiative (UKEIRI) and delivered by the British Council, Universities UK International and EdCIL in India.
"We believe students who have had an international experience as part of their education have a broader, more global perspective of their subject that they then take on to their professional lives. Through the Study in India programme, we hope to accelerate this inter-country exchange to give the best possible education to students for the mutual benefit of both countries," said Barbara Wickham, Director, British Council India.
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