The relationship between the UK and India can be summed up with two words: opportunity and openness.
Our two countries already have a natural partnership based on strong economic, cultural and historical ties. Starting from this strong base it is now timely to deepen these bilateral links – as demonstrated by Prime Minister Modi’s landmark visit to the UK in 2015.
Initiatives such as the UK-India Business Council’s CEO Forum and 2016’s UK-India Year of Education, Research and Innovation are all helping to build new and stronger bonds. And to recognise this work, the CBI has recently published a report with Middlesex University entitled Bridges to the future: the role of universities in the Uk-India relationship.
Business, government and universities all have a part in helping the historic relationship between India and the UK to grow and flourish. There are many diverse and successful examples that demonstrate the range of partnerships is already – and the potential for more.
For the CBI, the opportunity for both countries is clear to see. The UK is India’s biggest investor among the G20 countries – with investment over the last 15 years totalling more than from Germany and America put together.
At the same time Indian businesses are investing and thriving in the UK, Indian students come in their thousands to UK universities; while at individual company level exporting relationships and joint ventures grow, with over £130m Welsh exports heading to India every year.
These opportunities flow from the challenges for both countries: from equipping the next generations for success, to helping people have a home of their own, to unanswered questions of climate change, better health or sustainable growth.
For example, Cardiff Metropolitan University’s partnerships with Planet EDU-QAI and Universal Business School is an excellent example of the fruits that are borne through the interchange between business and universities in both countries.
Cardiff Met’s partnership with highly respected Indian educational services company, Planet EDU – Qualifications and Assessments International (QAI) – was officially launched in 2012. QAI is a private and international awarding body that offers a range of academic and vocational qualifications and assessments for specific purposes, including skills assessments for employability and English language. The QAI awards are overseen and quality assured by Cardiff Met. By working with QAI, Cardiff Met has broadened its partnership with the company and has contributed to the development of the next generation of graduates in India.
Cardiff Met also has a partnership in India with Universal Business School (UBS). The residential campus is in Karjat, an hour’s drive from Mumbai. Currently, UBS has two courses in partenership with Cardiff Met, MBA and BA business and management (BABM).
The partnership is expanding steadily and there are long-term plans to expand the courses available. UBS has excellent links with industry, and has a governing body comprising over 50 eminent academics and business leaders from India and beyond. Students therefore benefit from a wide array of guest tutors to enhance their academic learning.