The State government signed an agreement with the British Council here on Wednesday for two-way student mobility, capacity building, research and transnational education.
Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy signed the MoU on behalf of the State government. The Council would enable collaborations in new and emerging areas through Going Global Partnerships that the State is already part of.
Under the GGP seven universities from Tamil Nadu are partnering with nine universities in the U.K. Mr. Ponmudy said the United Kingdom is a natural partner in the efforts to internationalise higher education. He urged the U.K. institutions to partner with the State in developing joint and dual degree programmes and collaborative research in mutual areas.
On the sidelines of the event, Mr. Ponmudy said during the three-day meeting on higher education, experts from the State universities would participate in discussions with the visiting faculty. “The Chief Minister launched the Naan Mudhalvan scheme with the same aim. We have explained to them the scheme, particularly building proficiency in English language among students. We are discussing training and faculty visit for teachers and student exchange opportunities,” he said.
A beginning had been made with Anna University and Bharathiar University signing an agreement. “Our aim is not only the quantity of education but also improve the quality,” he added.
Steve Smith, international education champion, U.K., said, the delegation had chosen Tamil Nadu as it had some of the best ranked institutions in the country. The higher education department envisioned creating centres of innovation and the U.K. government was ready to help the State.
School Education Minister Mahesh Poyyamozhi urged the U.K. delegation to visit the schools run by the government and expressed interest in student and teacher exchange programmes at the school level.
Janaka Pushpanathan, British Council’s South India director, said 14 universities from the U.K. and two higher education apex bodies would discuss areas of mutual collaboration with 25 government and private institutions in the State.
On the occasion, Vellore Institute of Technology received a grant. British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai Oliver Ballhatchet and the Council’s Director of Education Maddalaine Ansell besides senior officials of the Council were present at the event.