28/06/2013

Queen's To Establish Indian Academy

Queen’s University Belfast is to develop a Queen’s Academy in India (QAI). The Academy will train up to 250 Indian students and university faculty to help expand the number of qualified university staff available in the North Eastern region of the country.

The initiative supports the Indian government’s expansion strategy to develop the university sector within the country.

India’s Minister for the Development of the North East Region, Shri Paban Singh Ghatowar, and the Minister for Employment and Learning Dr Stephen Farry met with representatives from Queen’s to discuss the development.

Queen’s already has several existing partnerships in education and industry in India.

The QAI will equip students and staff from new partners Tezpur University, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Assam University (Silchar), and North Eastern Hill University with PhD and Masters qualifications in research, and Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Teaching.

Dr Farry said: "Forging international partnerships is a key aspect of 'Graduating to Success; our Higher Education Strategy for Northern Ireland. Queen's are building on this commitment by the proposed development of the Queen's Academy in North Eastern States of India. The importance of developing this relationship with India should not be underestimated. Through such initiatives, students, staff, institutions and Northern Ireland as a whole will benefit from important linkages with a growing global economy. Such opportunities have the potential to aid inward and outward mobility and also trade and investment."

India’s Minister for the Development of the North East Region Shri Paban Singh Ghatowar added: "There is a dearth of adequately trained faculty members in the universities of North- East India. I am happy to note that four Universities from the region, namely Tezpur University, IIT Guwahati, Silchar University and North East Hill University will tie up with Queens University for capacity building of teaching faculty, leading to the International Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and Teaching (i-PGCHET), and the building of our research capacity in North Eastern Region faculty. I welcome this and my Ministry supports this proposal in principle."

Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Peter Gregson concluded: "In Northern Ireland we know that a supply of well qualified graduates and university staff is essential in promoting growth and attracting inward investment. The new Queen’s Academy in India will enhance the quality, research, innovation and teaching activities of our partner institutions, enabling India’s brightest staff and students to realise their full potential."

The first intake of participants to the Academy is expected to take place in Spring 2014.

(IT/CD)

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