King’s College London, which was recently ranked among the top 20 universities in the world, is planning to expand ongoing academic partnerships in India and build bridges with institutions here, Sir Richard Trainor, the institute’s Principal and President said here on Thursday.

“We hope we can expand existing partnerships and develop new ones … we also want to deepen ties with our alumni, grow our summer schools and also get a greater flow of students in both directions … more Indian students in King’s campus and our students coming over to study in India,” said Prof. Trainor, who is in Chennai to visit select institutes that could become prospective academic partners.

In India, the institute already has a “strategic alliance” with the Jawaharlal Nehru University and “growing collaborations” with Delhi University and Ashoka University.

And, on the back of its immensely popular summer school programmes for undergraduates and postgraduates in New Delhi and Mumbai, which prepare candidates for international education over a two-week intensive, King’s College proposes to launch winter schools for high school pupils to help prepare them for enrolling in international Universities.

The first winter school programme for high school students is due to start in December this year and scholarships will be built in to benefit students from a broader socio-economic spectrum.

King’s College opened an office in India at Gurgaon recently to serve as a coordinating centre for activities in India that range across recruiting students, facilitating students at the London campus coming to India and deepening academic partnerships with existing institutions and forge ties with new ones, Prof. Trainor informed.

“We’re looking at a variety of different institutions. We’ve come to Chennai because we see it as an important city and we are visiting a number of institutions to see whether there may be partnerships in future, though it is too early to say now,” he said.

King’s College recently had its first-ever alumni meet in Chennai and hopes to soon start a branch here on the lines of the ones in Mumbai and Delhi.

“We propose to develop some new short courses in addition to the ones on subjects ranging across arts and humanities, social sciences environmental issues,” said Prof. Sunil Khilnani, Avantha Professor and Director, King’s India Institute.

The India Institute is one of the series of global institutes established by King’s to ‘embed an international perspective in the very fabric of the College’.

In fact, a key aspect of King’s College’s evolution in the last ten years as an expanded institution was an increasing international involvement, Prof. Trainor said. “The percentage of students from countries other than the U.K. has gone up from about a fifth to about a third … we now have something like two-fifths of our academics coming from outside the UK.”