The University of Birmingham has opened its first overseas office in India.
The announcement of the special educational initiative for India was made in New Delhi at an event attended by the British High Commissioner to India Sir Richard Stagg, leading academics and business dignitaries.
The new learning base in the heart of New Delhi has been established to maintain partnerships with local providers, further consolidate research collaboration and provide local services to those students who want to study at the university.
The move marks the 100th anniversary of links between Birmingham University and India, with the first students from the Asian country welcomed to its Edgbaston campus in 1909.
Vice-chancellor Professor David Eastwood said: “We have come a long way in developing international relations and are proud that India is the first country that we will have a permanent office presence.
“Despite the challenging economic times we are facing, India is experiencing its own golden era of change and so we are even more excited by the possibilities of working together at this special time.”
The University of Birmingham has a number of research collaborations with several institutions across India that are helping to transform lives and to make a real impact on society.
Its International Development Department has partnered with the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi and the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies to look at how faith communities and faith-based organisations have engaged with post-conflict situations in Mumbai and Ahmedabadd. And the university’s Automotive Safety Centre is working with IIT Delhi to explore ways of reducing road traffic accidents in India. The centre has more than 40 years’ experience in traffic accident investigation and analysis.
Professor Eastwood added: “We are privileged to be based in one of the UK’s most ethnically diverse cities with a large population from the Indian sub-continent. This puts us in a unique position to tackle problems like obesity or hepatitis C that not only affect our city, but also have global consequences.
“For example, the university is carrying out the UK’s largest study into heart failure in ethnic minority populations, involving more than 1,000 members of the Indian community in Birmingham.
“The lessons we will learn from this work can be applied across the UK, but also potentially in India. We hope our new presence here will enhance opportunities for research collaborations in areas like health, energy, transport and the economy.”