India and Britain Thursday discussed the existing bilateral cooperation initiatives in education and also agreed to further strengthen these by taking up several new initiatives, an official statement said. Both countries also decided to constitute a joint working group (JWG) consisting of officers from both sides to deliberate and work on modalities of future collaborations in education. The JWG will meet frequently and the first meeting will be held by Dec 2014.
The decisions were taken at the sixth India-UK Education Forum Meeting here, which was co-chaired by Human Resource Development Minister Irani and Greg Clark, British Minister for Universities, Science and Cities.
"Both the countries discussed the existing bilateral cooperation initiatives in education and also agreed to further strengthen it by taking up several new initiatives. Both sides also acknowledged the cooperation mechanism through joint UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI)," a statement from HRD ministry said.
The two ministers also discussed the Chevening Scholarships for Indian students; two-way student mobility; Generation UK-India programme which will support up to 25,000 young people from the UK to come to India over the next 5 years and initiatives supported by Department for International Development.
Chevening Scholarships are awarded to talented professionals who are potential future leaders, decision-makers and opinion formers. The scholarships not only offer financial support to study for a Master`s degree at the UK`s leading universities, but the opportunity to become part of an influential and highly regarded global network.
The British delegation confirmed that they will put in four times more resources for the Chevening scholarships for Indian students and make it the largest Chevening Programme in the World.
"The Indian delegation emphasized that, along with students from UK, they would also like to welcome teachers and faculty members under its new programme, Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN), the response to which was extremely positive from the minister leading the UK delegation," the statement added.
At the meeting, a joint statement was also signed by both the ministers highlighting the educational cooperation between India and Britain and the future areas of collaboration.
"The areas of leadership development; research, innovation, technology and knowledge transfer; skill development and entrepreneurship; enhancing people to people links and two-way mobility; quality improvement in education; use of ICT in education; development of MOOCs and e-Library and launch of UKIERI-III in 2016 have been highlighted in the joint statement," it said.
The British delegation also conveyed that most of the UK institutions recognize the 10+2 qualifications for admission of Indian students into the higher educational institutions there.
The delegation also welcomed more Indian students to British Universities and also assured of addressing the barriers in student mobility.
The Indian delegation also appreciated the initiative of UK government to install the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Street, London and also offered to co-sponsor the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture.