Dame Nicola Brewer, Vice Provost (International), led a major scoping visit to India between 29th March and 12th April. Academics from the IoE, Engineering, Architecture, Population health Sciences and Management participated in the visit.
The overarching aim of the visit was to review UCL’s current engagement with India and to investigate new opportunities in line with UCL’s new Global Engagement Strategy (GES). The visit comes at a time of strengthening ties between the UK and India.
Professor Eli Keshavarz-Moore, Vice-Dean (International) in the Faculty of Engineering, Dr Priti Parikh, Lecturer in UCL Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, Professor Marie Lall, Pro-Vice-Provost (South Asia), Professor Monica Lakhanpaul from the Faculty of Population Health Sciences, Michael Manlangit from the School of Management and Dr Alisa Andrasek from Bartlett were also part of the delegation.
The delegation visited four cities: Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi. The group met leading public and private HEIs, top private schools, charitable foundations and UK and Indian government bodies. Two alumni receptions in Mumbai and Delhi attracted over 50 alumni at each event, twice the number at the previous event.
The response to UCL’s visit was clear – there was considerable enthusiasm for working with UCL in all the sectors represented and more, both from existing partners and thosemet for the first time. Several of the charitable foundations visited expressed an interest in partnering with UCL for joint research and capacity building. Many discussions centred on how an interdisciplinary approach combining education, engineering for development and child health could tackle long-standing community problems effectively.
The delegation left India with a strong list of contacts and ideas from which they hope to build future partnerships. There is still much to be done to raise UCL’s profile. The next steps will be to decide the size and direction of UCL’s future engagement with India.
Dr Parikh said:
There are exciting opportunities for UCL to engage especially on developing interdisciplinary solutions for sustainable cities and improving quality of life for rural communities.