University of Southampton explores education opportunities in India within NEP framework

‘As a top 100 research-intensive Russell Group University, the University of Southampton would nurture the next generation citizens with an aim to build an inclusive world’  

May 02, 2023 09:47 pm | Updated 09:47 pm IST - MUMBAI

Professor Sabu S. Padmadas, Associate Dean and Founding Director, University of Southampton India Centre.

Professor Sabu S. Padmadas, Associate Dean and Founding Director, University of Southampton India Centre.

The United Kingdom (U.K.)-based University of Southampton is exploring transnational education opportunities in India within the framework of India’s new National Education Policy (NEP), said Professor Sabu S. Padmadas, Associate Dean & Founding Director, University of Southampton India Centre.  

“The exact timeline is unknown at this point,” he said in an emailed interview. 

He said as a top 100 research-intensive Russell Group University, the University of Southampton would nurture the next generation citizens with an aim to build an inclusive world.  

In March 2019, the University established an India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development offering programmes and activities aimed at generating quality research for policy impact and business solutions, underpinned by innovation, enterprise, sustainability, knowledge-transfer and partnerships with Indian institutions.  

The Centre adopts the University’s triple helix model to address cross-cutting global challenges, intertwining research, education and enterprise activities through active collaboration with Indian universities, government departments, think-tanks, businesses and industries, he said. 

Professor Padmadas said the projects undertaken at the India Centre addresses the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals for India, U.K. and globally. 

Stating that the India Centre’s key focus areas are aligned to India’s G20 Sherpa track across education, research and innovation, in particular addressing critical global challenges including health, environment and climate sustainability and energy transitions, he said India must rapidly harness the demographic dividend and human capital development in terms of skilling, upskilling and reskilling to prepare its young people jobs in future.

“The University of Southampton has strategically aligned our India engagement priorities to exploring the opportunities with the India’s new National Education Policy which offers immense potential to transforming higher education and research capabilities in the country,” he said.

Emphasising that the University does active collaboration and academic exchanges with leading higher education institutions including the institutions of eminence across different geographic regions in India, he said these vary across the spectrum from research and enterprise projects, dual degree agreements, split-site PhDs, joint workshops and conferences to staff exchange and student internships.  

“One of our successful high impact initiatives at India Centre is the Kaifi Azmi Global Virtual Internship (KAVI) programme with Mijwan Welfare Society which brings together students from Southampton, GRD Institute of Management in Coimbatore and University of Western Australia to work in pairs on live projects related to employment generation and women’s entrepreneurship in rural India,” he said.   

He said the Centre has had several joint academic activities with partners, including IIT-Madras, OP Jindal Global University, IIIT-B, TAPMI, MICA, Jadavpur University, Amity University, and University of Kerala, as well as with NGOs and industries. 

In March 2023, it introduced a virtual Quarterly Research Colloquium (QRC) jointly with Tata Institute of Social Sciences and International Institute for Population Sciences in Mumbai to facilitate research and knowledge exchange in a post-COVID net-zero world. 

He said the University provides various scholarships to Indian students with excellent academic portfolio.

Emphasising that education in British Universities is beyond obtaining a degree, he said students should initiate and seize the opportunities to experience cross-cultural interactions with students from other countries across the globe, and develop interpersonal skillsets to compete and perform in the real world.   

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