Any views expressed within media held on this service are those of the contributors, should not be taken as approved or endorsed by the University, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University in respect of any particular issue.
Image of a satellite orbiting the Earth

College of Science & Engineering

College of Science & Engineering

News and stories from the College of Science & Engineering

Internationalisation – Focus on India

India is the world’s second largest country in terms of population and is expected to surpass China to become the world’s most populous country by 2024.  More than 50% of this population is below the age of 25, making the demand for Higher Education, both in India and overseas, huge.  India has the most universities of any country with approximately 5300 (estimated in July 2021).

India is the third largest student recruitment market for the University of Edinburgh after China and the USA with the majority of Indian students coming to study taught postgraduate programmes.  This has grown year on year and is expected to continue.  As the university seeks to diversify its student population, India is of particular interest to the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) for both student recruitment and partnership development.

In recent years, schools in CSE have developed active partnerships and have engaged in recruitment and conversion activities in collaboration with colleagues in the Edinburgh Global Regional office in Mumbai and in Student Recruitment & Admissions (SRA).  However, in the past year, this activity and interest has intensified mainly due to our work in setting up the Gujarat Biotechnology University (GBU) and encouraged by changes in Indian government policies regarding international education and collaborations.

In 2020, the Indian government passed their National Educational Policy (NEP) based on the pillars of “Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability” with the aim of transforming India into a vibrant knowledge hub.  The new policy opens up opportunities for UK HEIs. Changes to the school education system mean Indian school leavers will be more prepared to enter a UK degree; there will be a new nationwide academic credit system that will simplify credit recognition partnerships and new legislation is due which will allow overseas universities to open campuses in India.  Indian institutions will have more autonomy to enter into partnerships with international institutions.

There are several innovative TNE (Transnational Education) projects in India with which the College of Science and Engineering are currently involved, the biggest being GBU.

Gujarat Biotechnology University (GBU)

The Gujarat Biotechnology University, is an innovative partnership between the University of Edinburgh and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat in India. GBU is a new autonomous state university which will deliver research and project-based Masters and PhD programmes in in Medical, Industrial, Environmental, Animal and Plant Biotechnology. The first Masters students will be joining GBU in August 2022. The fundamental aim of GBU is to provide an enabling ecosystem to promote multi-disciplinary biotechnology through translational research and product innovation. Colleagues from the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) have been involved in the partnership since the outset. They provide guidance on academic strategy for GBU, including teaching & learning, research & innovation, industry-academia engagement and quality assurance.  They also advise on infrastructure, facilities, services and expertise needed to ensure operational effectiveness for teaching & research excellence.


SBS colleagues have led on a development programme for GBU academic staff and will visit GBU regularly to provide curriculum enhancement and to develop research and teaching collaborations.  GBU students may also be selected to undertake research placements at the University of Edinburgh.

Gujurat Biotechnology University

The Gujurat Biotechnology University


Going Global Summer School – “Responsible Research & Innovation in India’s Energy-Water-Food-Health Nexus”

In late 2021, the British Council announced that grants were available for UK HEIs to support collaborative activity with partner institutions in India.  Having run an online, one-week summer course last year with our partners at IIT Kharagpur, and building on other earlier joint research and workshops, we submitted a bid to offer a longer course and to extend it to other Indian partner institutions.  The conditions of the grant were that minimum four Indian institutions should be involved with one UK HEI.  We were successful in our bid and received a grant of £75k.

The original programme was extended to make a three-week course including external input from external specialist trainers “Orbit-RRI” on Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) and collaborative project work by the students from all five institutions as well as field trips and site visits.  The grant was also used to fund student mobility; five students from IIT Kharagpur travelled to Edinburgh to participate here and five UoE students travelled to India to join the course there.

In total there were 55 participants, from across the five institutions.  Lectures were given by colleagues from all the partner institutions with workshop extension tasks each day, a RRI audit task and a small research project done by students in mixed groups across time zones and institutions, which was challenging but very rewarding.  The students worked very hard and produced an incredibly high standard of work.

This course allowed students from all the partner institutions to participate in a highly collaborative international course. The course content addressed some of the most pressing environmental and social issues facing communities across rural India but also applicable to other environments and allowed academic colleagues and students to put skills and techniques developed throughout the pandemic to great use in terms of hybrid teaching and studying.

IIT Kharagpur are long-standing partners of ours. The co-creation and co-delivery of this course has really deepened these collaborations and friendships. We hope and anticipate that this will be a springboard for wider and deeper collaborations growing across the College.

Going forward the aim is to make the summer school a credit-bearing course and make it accessible for students and academic colleagues from an ever-wider set of our best global partners.

Indian students at the Glenfinnan Viaduct

Going Global Summer School students at the Glenfinnan Viaduct near Fort William.


Two new 2+2 arrangements

The school of Engineering has recently signed MOAs with two Indian institutions offering students an articulation pathway into the 3rd year of our Engineering programmes from Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT).  This model is of course already a tried and tested one having run with selected China partner universities since 2003 with a successful graduation rate in excess of 98%. We are hoping that there will also be opportunities to extend these pathways into other CSE schools, where there is capacity. 

Infosys internships

Representatives from Infosys recently visited the school of Informatics and have offered 8-week placements on their “Infosys Instep – Infosys Global Internship Program” in London to UoE STEM students.  So while the placement is in London, the opportunity came via our regional director in Mumbai and is to work with one of India’s leading tech companies. Infosys is one of the world leading companies in digital services and we are exploring other areas for potential research cooperation.


Overall, we have an emerging portfolio of activities across India that cover research, education and innovation with universities and corporates, encompassing key topics including biotechnology, sustainability and digital. The next steps are to consolidate and grow these strong partnerships, while remaining open to further complementary opportunities arising from the National Education Policy.

Professor Tom Bruce – Dean International – Students

Professor Neil Robertson – Dean International Partnerships

Josie Pilcher – Recruitment & Internationalisation Officer

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Report this page

To report inappropriate content on this page, please use the form below. Upon receiving your report, we will be in touch as per the Take Down Policy of the service.

Please note that personal data collected through this form is used and stored for the purposes of processing this report and communication with you.

If you are unable to report a concern about content via this form please contact the Service Owner.

Please enter an email address you wish to be contacted on. Please describe the unacceptable content in sufficient detail to allow us to locate it, and why you consider it to be unacceptable.
By submitting this report, you accept that it is accurate and that fraudulent or nuisance complaints may result in action by the University.