Vice-Chancellor joins Government delegation to India
The University of Sheffield’s Vice-Chancellor highlighted the rich benefits international students bring to the UK at a high-profile event in India.
Professor Sir Keith Burnett was joined by the Vice-Chancellor of De Montfort University Leicester, Professor Dominic Shellard, at a joint event with Universities UK, the UK Council for International Student Affairs and the British Council to answer questions about studying in the UK.
The event fell during the Vice-Chancellor’s visit to India as part of a high-level government, business and scientific summit, which saw Sir Keith join Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Theresa May. Sir Keith also met with senior university and business leaders, including many Sheffield alumni, to highlight the global significance of science and innovation and the importance of collaboration between both nations.
Sir Keith highlighted the #WeAreInternational campaign which was started at Sheffield jointly with the Students' Union and now has more than 100 universities and organisations across the UK supporting efforts to welcome international students, staff, research and collaborations in higher education.
The campaign stands in stark contrast to concerns overseas that the UK is raising barriers to study, and has been backed by sector bodies, including Universities UK and the National Union of Students, the British Council and Foreign Office.
Sir Keith said:
“Our great universities are at their core places of international scholarship which welcome ideas and talent from around the world. The University of Sheffield has students from 140 countries with 2,300 graduates in India alone now working as doctors, judges, architects and engineers. The contribution of international students enriches our universities and cities, and the education they gain is in turn helping to build this incredible country."
Sir Keith also joined with colleagues to challenge the Prime Minister to recognise the key role international students play in global partnership and trade. He added:
“We are urging the British government to recognise these benefits in word and deed, and to help us welcome students as the wonderful asset they are to our universities and communities. The relationship between the UK and India in our modern times is most positively found between those who have studied together in our universities and who have undertaken collaborative research to address shared challenges in medicine, energy and food security."
During the visit, the Vice-Chancellor also travelled to Bangalore to hold meetings with tech companies working in cyber security and big data, as well as delivering a speech at the India-UK Tech Summit, India’s largest knowledge and technology conference and exhibition, on the importance of integrating research and industry drawing on the experience of the University of Sheffield's award-winning Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).
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