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Higher education partnership launch

Posted on 21/10/2011
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Principal at launch. Credit: Frank Noon Photography

King’s hosts launch event for new multilateral higher education partnership

A new partnership to mark the shifting trends in international higher education has been launched this week at King’s. The aim is to build on existing ties between the UK and US fields of higher education, and link them to research initiatives in the emerging economies, such as the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI).
 
Dr Martha Kanter, US Under-Secretary for Education, and David Willetts, UK Minister for Universities and Science, attended the reception at King’s, where David Willetts announced the launch of the US-UKIERI partnership.
 
Professor Sir Richard Trainor, Principal of King’s College London said:  ‘We are delighted to be here at King’s to launch this new partnership, which reinforces the importance of academic links between the UK and US, and doing so in a way that reflects the growing importance of India.’
 
In 2009 Professor Trainor co-chaired the study group which produced the report Higher Education and Collaboration in Global Context: Building a Global Civil Society. The report argued that if the UK and the USA are to continue to assert their primacy in the realm of higher education within an increasingly competitive global context, they must do so collaboratively.
 
The launch at King’s was welcomed by the Indian Minister for Human Resources and Development, Shri Kapil Sibal, who said: ‘Innovation transfer, curriculum and skill development are instrumental to the progress of our nation. Through UKIERI, we should aim to develop multilateral partnerships between US, UK and India to enhance capacities and knowledge for the future of the world.’
 
Leaders of US and UK universities are due to gather in Windsor, UK this week to explore how the higher education sectors of rising economies can be included into existing US-UK partnerships.
 
The Higher Education Policy Forum will begin with the announcement of a $500,000 fund for the inclusion of the USA into a strand of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative, a five year bi-lateral programme launched earlier this summer by the UK and Indian governments.
 
Led by the British Council and supported by the UK HE International Unit, Universities UK, the Council for Higher Education, New York University and the Institute for International Education, the Forum is intended to advance the $1bn UK-US higher education relationship beyond bi-lateral dialogue, and deliver a new multi-lateral approach that reflects the rapid expansion of higher education around the world.
 
‘The partnerships enjoyed by institutions in the USA and UK have been very productive for some time, but can no longer be seen as the only way forward,’ said Martin Davidson, Chief Executive of the British Council.
 
‘In order for the UK to remain successful and competitive we must engage more widely. The new reality of globalisation is that education and talent are borderless. Where possible we shall seek to extend our partnerships with the education powerhouses of the future. The inclusion of the USA into the already successful UKIERI programme is a great model for this, and I look forward to the new achievements it will produce.’
 
The US delegation to the Forum will be headed by John Sexton, President of New York University. President Sexton said: ‘We're delighted to take part in this forum. As the world's leading knowledge economies, the US and UK have a thriving higher education relationship. But we must now seek to broaden the canvas by developing partnerships on a multilateral scale so as to meet the challenges ahead for global education.
 
Professor Eric Thomas, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, will lead the British delegation. Professor Thomas said: ‘The Forum provides an opportunity for the UK to work closely with US colleagues in taking forward multi-country partnerships. Both the UK and US have world-renowned higher education systems and first-class research capacity. It is imperative that these are used to support long-term, sustainable collaborations which allow other countries to take advantage of what both countries have to offer.’
 
Notes to editors
 
Higher Education and Collaboration in Global Context: Building a Global Civil Society
Link to 2009 report by the UK/US Study Group, commissioned by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Spring 2008
http://www.international.ac.uk/resources/Final%20Report.pdf
 
About the British Council (www.britishcouncil.org)
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. We work in over 100 countries in the arts, education and English and in 2010/11 we engaged face to face with 30 million people and reached 578 million. We have 6,800 staffworldwide. Our total turnover in 2010/11 was £693 million, of which our grant-in-aid from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was £190 million. The remainder was generated through trading activities such as English language teaching. For every £1 of taxpayer money invested we earn £2.65 in additional income.
 
About the UK Higher Education International Unit (http://www.international.ac.uk)
The UK Higher Education International Unit works to support the continuing development of the UK higher education sector’s international influence and competitiveness. Acting as a central observatory and policy coordination unit on higher education, internationalization and European policy, the unit manages strategic engagement between the UK and international stakeholders, and provides timely and high quality research and information. It also offers guidelines to higher education institutions on engaging in European policy dialogue and produces collective UK statements and responses to consultations in key areas of European Union and Bologna Process policy, lobbying to support them as appropriate. The unit is funded by Universities UK, the funding councils for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, GuildHE and the Quality Assurance Agency.
 
About UKIERI (www.ukieri.org)
Plans for a new phase of this jointly funded £5m a year programme were announced by Prime Ministers David Cameron and Manmohan Singh in July 2010. Since then, the UK and Indian Governments and their respective education and skills sectors have been working closely together to develop the new Initiative. Its aim is to deliver a systemic change to UK and India's education and skills sectors.
 
Significant Achievements under UKIERI

  • 182 UK India partnerships across Higher Education & Research; Schools and Professional & Technical Skills, involving over 600 institutions
  • 55 individual awards through PhD scholarships and fellowships
  • 88 facilitation grants to travel between UK and India for developing partnerships
  • Opportunity to 393 British students to visit India under the Study India Programme
  • Facilitated work placements for 105 Indian graduates under the India Graduate Work Experience Programme and UKIERI-GSK work placement opportunity
  • 40 events in policy dialogue and networking
For more information on King's, see our 'King's in Brief' page.

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