Interview Colleges

The Scotland attraction

Stuart Easter, international officer, University of Edinburgh.  

Ahead of a ‘Great Scotland’ networking and learning session, held in New Delhi recently to acquaint prospective Indian students about the educational prospects in Scotland, international officer of University of Edinburgh Stuart Easter talks about the advantages of studying in the country and what it has on offer for Indians. Easter manages the student recruitment and project development in south and central Asia for the university. He is also a member of the reading committee for Chevening scholarships in South Asia and provides academic oversight and advice on scholarship applications submitted from the region.

How strong is the Indian student population in Scotland? Over the years, has the University of Edinburgh seen an increase in the number of Indian students?

There are currently 1,490 Indian students studying at different universities in Scotland. Over the last two years, there has been a 14 per cent increase each year in students coming to the University of Edinburgh.

What are the advantages of studying in Scotland?

We like to think that our overseas students become part of a strong community of ‘internationally Scottish’ scholars — united by our appreciation of Scotland’s unique culture and hospitality, as well as its academic strength.

Scotland has had over 600 years of higher education. The Scottish education system has been adopted in many countries and is, therefore, the basis for a variety of education systems, including the United States and Hong Kong. Scotland has more world-class universities per head of population than anywhere else in the world. Universities in Scotland have a long and successful relationship with a number of industries throughout the world.

The country’s universities are renowned for their excellence in research and it produces one per cent of the world’s research with less than 0.1 per cent of the world’s population.

The level of collaboration between universities and business in Scotland outstrips that in many other countries including the United States, Germany, Japan and Denmark, with Scotland scoring 5.8 on an index of up to 7, according to a World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness report.

What do Indian students mostly opt for?

The highest numbers of Indian students are found in the areas of business, engineering, medicine, biology and computer science. However, Scottish universities offer a wide range of specialist subjects, and we find Indian students attracted to all areas.

Are there any special scholarship schemes for Indian students?

Our universities have the strongest employability record in the U.K., with over 91 per cent of graduates employed within six months of graduation.

The Scottish government runs the Saltire Scholarship scheme for Indian students, offering funding support of £2000 up to 200 students.

Each university in Scotland also runs its own schemes with hundreds of thousands of pounds in scholarship funding on offer throughout the country.

Do Scottish universities have partnerships with Indian universities?

Yes, Scottish universities have worked with Indian universities for almost 100 years. There are hundreds of established partnerships, including student and staff exchange, articulation from Indian colleges and universities directly to Scottish universities. The most popular form of partnership is research collaboration.

Research collaboration between Scottish and Indian universities takes many forms, but this is usually established to make the most of the combined research excellence and knowledge that exists in both the countries. The research is often funded by both governments, as well as private businesses, especially in science and technology subjects.

The Scottish educational set-up is different from that of India. How do you ensure that this transition is easy for Indian students?

Scotland’s universities have been welcoming Indian students for over 150 years. We recognise the challenges that Indian students face in moving to a new country for study, including the different approaches to teaching in universities. We provide orientation programmes on arrival for all overseas students, as well as study support classes to help them with the educational transition.

The transition is further eased by ensuring overseas students have access to on-campus accommodation in a safe and friendly environment. Indian students quickly adapt to the Scottish university environment and go on to become some of the most successful graduates of our university, finding excellent jobs in Scotland, Europe and beyond. Many Indian graduates of Scottish universities return to India to find themselves very employable.

Please give us an insight into how Scotland is preparing to create ‘young India talent’?

Indian students coming to study in Scotland will find themselves in a supportive and inspirational environment that will incubate the leaders of tomorrow. We are specialists in sciences, technology, medicine, law, politics, journalism, environment and hundreds more fields of study. We welcome young Indian students to our campuses and will provide a path for them to build India’s future.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 4:05:34 PM |

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