Indian states give opportunities for collaboration with UK

9 December 2014

With the new Indian government delivering a rapid devolution of authority and budgets from central to state control, expansion and reform of the higher education system in India will be driven by these states. The changes present a significant opportunity for partnership and signal a potential shift in strategic approach towards international engagement with India. 

With 30 million students enrolled in 48,500 higher education institutions across india, these reforms are expected to effect 97 per cent of the higher education sector, including many private colleges.

Our new report, in partnership with the UK Higher Education International Unit, offers a comparative statistical analysis across all 29 states, with a deeper look at five key states and the major institutions within them. The report gives an up-to-date insight on the Indian higher education system, and its challenges, in respect to a new Indian government. It also provides an overview of international competitor activity at the state level as well as a description of the various statutory bodies and university types in India. 

Rob Lynes, Director of the British Council in India, said "India is a large and complex country to operate in, and the new Indian government wants to drive change. It is now necessary to view India in more detail than at the national level, especially as we are seeing a rapid move towards more state level autonomy. I hope this report, which highlights key areas for potential engagement, will be useful for UK Universities and Colleges who are seeking to strengthen their relationships with India". 

Vivienne Stern, Director of the UK Higher Education International Unit commented: "The UK higher education sector already has strong links with India, however the landscape is changing fast and we need to better understand the rapid devolution of authority and budgets in India at state level if we are to engage in the most productive way with its higher education system. This report will equip our sector with the granular understanding needed to ensure that we continue to build on the higher education links that exist between our two countries".

Although only around five per cent of the 31,000 international students who studied in India in 2012 came from North America, Europe and Oceania, international education hubs such as the UK, US, Canada and Australia are actively forging deeper ties with Indian institutions through research and study exchange programmes. An understanding of the states and their educational policies and ambitions is therefore key to any successful attempts at partnerships.