University seeks to build on Indian links

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SHEFFEILD University is hoping to boost research links between Sheffield and India and attract more students from the sub continent.

The university has sent a delegation led by Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett, which it hopes will also emphasise the economic benefits to the city.

The visit follows the publication of research by the university, which showed that hosting international students brings a net benefit of £120 million to the city’s economy each year.

Sir Keith said: “India is an extraordinary nation with enormous strengths in education. The University of Sheffield has worked with partners in India for many years, on subjects ranging from health and science to engineering, and we know there is real potential to deepen these relationships.

“As well as our research partnerships, our students from India are a vital part of our university and increasingly this is a two-way process as our engineering students become involved in global engineering challenges in India and look at opportunities to learn and later to work all over the world.”

Indian students are the third largest group of international students at the University, after China and Malaysia, with half of the international students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees.

Sir Keith says the extensive talent, knowledge and skills of international students are crucial in plugging acknowledged skills gaps in the UK workforce.

“They make a powerful contribution to our university, our research strength and the UK economy. But more than that, the fact that our universities are home to talented young people from all over the world is itself a powerful and life-changing educational experience,” he added.

Uday Nair, an Indian student undertaking a PhD in Management at the University, said: “One of the biggest benefits to studying at Sheffield is the opportunity to work with innovators in their field, working with different companies, and learning different approaches. It is a complete transformation of oneself physically, mentally and spiritually.”