Four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) have been signed between different Scottish and Indian higher education institutions here on Tuesday.
The new MoUs, which build upon an overarching MoU signed in 2009 between the Association of Indian Universities and Universities of Scotland, will advance academic collaboration between two countries across many fields.
Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond said that the MoUs hold the promise of co-operation and mutual benefit between the two countries.
Human resource development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal said, “We intend to empower our students by providing access to the finest university education the world has on offer. And in Scotland we have found a worthy partner.”
Though the minister made it clear that signing MoUs does not mean universities setting up campuses here. He said, “The nature of foreign collaboration in the Foreign Education Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, 2010 (or the foreign universities bill as it is popularly referred to) is not limited to setting up a physical infrastructure in India like a campus replicating the university. It will be cooperation at various levels through joint degrees, by training arrangements, by setting up of centre of excellence.”
An MoU has been signed between the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (IIITA) and the University of Abertay Dundee (UAD) for joint research programmes and academic exchange. It is expected to focus on creative digital media, games, biotechnology, and bioinformatics among other areas.
Another MoU will allow National Accreditation Board for Education and Training (NABET) to work with the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) to develop skill standards, industry-specific qualifications and accreditation qualification systems.
Through the MoU between the University of Delhi and University of Edinburgh, both institutions will explore student and faculty exchanges, joint summer projects for post graduate and doctoral students and specially designed study programmes.
Prof Deepak Pental, vice chancellor of Delhi University said, “I see this dual degrees and credit exchange as a way to go forward. Some of our students already have an opportunity to get dual degree where they spend one year here and one year abroad in countries like Japan and France. We need to develop that kind of relationship in our existing good universities and in new innovative universities which the minister is very keen on.”
A MoU has also been signed between Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) with Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research. GCU also has partnership with the MV Diabetes Research Centre in Chennai, Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai and Max Healthcare in Delhi. GCU with its Indian partners will launch short-term programmes for medical professionals in the area of diabetic foot-care. This programme will be delivered to 300 doctors and health care professionals in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai over the next six months.