Which new programme is the university starting this year?
We are offering a new MSc in drug design and discovery. (The next intake will be in February).
What is the purpose of starting this programme and who can apply?
We found out there is an increasing demand for professionals in pharmaceutical companies and in research. To apply for this programme, one must have a good first degree in pharmacy, chemistry or a bioscience with substantial chemistry content. After completing this one-year programme, one can get a visa for two years to work in a job in Scotland.
What job assistance will the university provide?
We have strong links with GlaxoSmithKline. During the programme, students will have the option of working for one day a week in a pharmaceutical/ chemical company in Paisley (where the UWS campus is located).
And what will happen if some students fail to find placement?
In that case, the university will support the student in finding some work on campus.
Tell us about the diversity in the student community.
Out of 20,000 students, around 1,500 are international students. Every year, we admit around 80 Indians and the rest are from different parts of the world including France, China, Greece and Spain.
Are you looking forward to joining hands with an Indian university?
Last year, we signed a memoranda of understanding with 19 colleges of Punjab Technical University. These are not just paper partnerships. In the past one year, five visits have been made from both sides. We believe that knowledge-sharing is a key part of our university.
We recently started discussions with the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad for a partnership.
Does the university focus a lot on research?
Yes, we do. There are 358 research students currently enrolled and we are hoping to have 400 by the end of the year. Research and knowledge transfer activity generates £4 million to £5 million per year (for the university). Having said this, it is primarily a vocational university (and not a research university).
Are you planning to start a programme apart from drug design?
In 2011, we have plans to start an executive MBA for professionals with a minimum of three years of work experience.
Lord Smith, chancellor, University of West of Scotland interviewed by Vimal Chander Joshi