India, UK for mutual recognition of professional degrees

India, UK for mutual recognition of professional degrees

New Delhi: India and the UK on Friday decided to work towards recognising each other’s professional degrees in management and engineering and significantly increase the flow of students from the UK to India.

David Willetts, UK minister for universities and sciences, said while over 40,000 Indian students are pursuing education in his country, India only hosts around 500 British students.

“There is a huge gap and we want this to increase student flow both for education and summer placement," Willets said after a meeting with human resource development minister Kapil Sibal.

Ministry officials said professional degrees in engineering and management are the initial areas where both countries will work for mutual recognistion by the next academic session. “We are going to do this," sibal said. “This the future."

Willetts however, said that in some areas Indian degrees are lengthier than the UK degrees. He both countries have to hammer out the process. “Indian industries are doing very well and we want our students to get exposed to it. Industry exposure and studying at each others’ universities will be of great use," he said adding that he and his authorities are interacting with industry bodies here for summer training of their students.

The UK minister who also attended the FICCI higher education summit Thursday , said that Indian institutions are good in Mathematics and this will be of great interest to them.

He said like UK higher education institutes would like to have relationship with Indian varsities in the model of the Erasmus Mundus Academic Cooperation programme. Under this scheme several universities in Europe recognise each others degrees and credit transfers, thus help the huge student mobility.

Besides, India and UK agreed on three different agendas like skill development, leadership programme in secondary school and higher education sector, partnership of UK varsities with proposed innovation universities of India.

In the skill development sector, construction and hospitality are the two areas where Indian schools will learn from UK. Similarly, the UK will help developing leadership among school administrators including principals. “Skill development and leadership programme will be of great help as we realise that employability of students must grow. The leadership programme will help reduce the shortage of quality teachers in India," Sibal argued.

In case of innovation universities, the collaboration could both bilateral or multilateral. It means more than one universities can have partnership with one innovation universities, the autonomous, research based universities the government plans to set up.