Looking for long-term partnership in academics and research, India and Scotland on Tuesday signed four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) which will facilitate student and faculty exchange and encourage joint degree development.
The MoUs were signed in the presence of Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond.
"The agreement with Scotland advances our sweeping reform agenda for higher education. We intend to empower our students by providing access to the finest university education the world has to offer," said Sibal.
He said the tie-ups would lead to creation of intangible wealth in the form of knowledge and research in education and health.
"From higher education to research, there is a great opportunity for mutual benefit," said Salmond, adding "Scotland is the ideal partner for India, as it seeks to grow its education sector and enhance its research and development capabilities, all of which are needed to sustain strong and stable economic growth."
The first MoU was signed between Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad and University of Abertay Dundee (UAD) for joint research and academic exchange in digital media, arts and (video) games, business and management, biotechnology, bioinformatics and food technology.
MoUs were also signed between Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and Delhi's Sitram Bhartia institute of Science and Research for providing short-term course on diabetic foot care, and between University of Edinburgh and University of Delhi for academic exchange in various fields.
Another MoU was between India's National Accreditation Board and Training (NABET) and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) to develop professional and academic accreditation and qualifications.
The two sides, however, clarified that the collaboration may not mean setting up of campuses of the Scottish universities at present.
“Our way of going forward is not exactly setting up a copy of the Edinburgh university, India has fine institutions and we will like to work with them,” Edinburgh university's vice chancellor Timothy O'Shea, who was there to sign the MoU with the Delhi University, said.
Added Sibal: “Cooperation in education is at various level. There are joint degrees, centres of excellence, one of the stages is to set up a campus. The Foreign University Act is not limited to setting up a physical campus.”
The Edinburgh University vice chancellor added that an office of the university was being opened in Mumbai and a lot of research initiatives in collaboration with Indian universities will also come up.