Exclusive | University Of Sheffield Strengthens Educational Ties With India, Offers Lucrative Scholarships To Indian Students

Exclusive | University Of Sheffield Strengthens Educational Ties With India, Offers Lucrative Scholarships To Indian Students

University of Sheffield strengthens ties with Indian institutions, signing MoUs and offering scholarships for collaboration in social justice, workers' rights, and environmental concerns.

Sunidhi VijayUpdated: Friday, December 01, 2023, 09:23 PM IST
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Professor Koen Lamberts | Official

With the UK surpassing Australia to become the third most favored destination for Indian students and several talks on collaborations between Indian and International Universities, the growing educational space and understanding between the two countries is gaining remarkable momentum. The Vice Chancellor of University of Sheffield, UK, Professor Koen Lamberts, recently visited India during the period of October 29 to November 4th to complete the institutional signing of MoUs and staff exchange agreement with IIT Bombay. Furthermore, the University has also announced scholarships worth approximately Rs 10 lakh per year to Undergraduate International students to help pay their tuition fees. 

In an exclusive talk with The Free Press Journal, Professor Lamberts opened up about the MoUs, scholarship eligibility, placement cell and more. 

Here are the few excerpts from the interview: 

1) How will your trip to India strengthen education ties in both the countries?

India is a strategically important market for us, and our recent visit showed us that there are many opportunities for us to collaborate and connect across education, research and innovation. It is clear that India and the UK have shared ambitions and I look forward to seeing how these grow and thrive.

2) On what criteria will Indian students be selected for UG scholarships 2024? 

At the University of Sheffield, we offer generous scholarships to international students with excellent academic results and potential. This includes 75 International Merit scholarships of £10,000 for undergraduates, which is available for each year of their undergraduate degree (subject to a 60% average) and 125 International Postgraduate Taught Merit Scholarships of £5,000 for postgraduate students. We are also pleased to offer a scholarship specifically for those studying at Delhi Public School Society (DPS) institutions. These scholarships are competitive, but we continue to see high quality applications from Indian students year on year. We also have non-competitive scholarships worth up to £2,500 for both undergraduates and postgraduate taught students.

3) Can you elaborate on the areas of collaboration between the University of Sheffield, and Indian institutes like TISS, IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay?

We completed an institutional MOU signing and staff exchange agreement with IIT Bombay. The latter will mean we are able to accept members of staff from the university on week-long exchanges, and we expect to receive the first group in January 2024. We met colleagues from the Koita Centre for Digital Health and Department of Energy Science and Engineering to further explore opportunities, and the long-term aims for the partnership were discussed. Colleagues from IIT Bombay are attending the University of Sheffield from 30 November to 1 December for an Energy Science workshop, hosted by our Faculty of Engineering and Energy Institute.

We also met colleagues from TISS and IIT Delhi to discuss areas of potential collaboration between our two institutions. Initial areas of strong interest were identified as social justice; workers’ rights; and energy, climate change, environment, artificial intelligence amongst others. 

4) Can you shed some light on the MoUs that the university has signed during the VC's latest visit to India?

While in India, the University of Sheffield signed two institutional-level MOUs with IIT Bombay and ATLAS SkillTech. The MOUs will help facilitate further engagement between the universities and ensure that the partnerships will develop in the coming years. They are designed to help further explore research initiatives, student exchange, collaborative programmes and funding opportunities.

5) Is there some sort of rule or regulations in place that ensures that there is no racial discrimination in the campus?

The University of Sheffield has around 30,000 students from more than 150 countries, and we have a zero-tolerance policy towards racial discrimination and hate crimes. The contributions that international students make enrich everyone’s lives and we are grateful for the impact they have on communities across our region. In Sheffield, leaders in our city recently signed a statement showing their support for international students.  

6) What’s the accommodation scenario at the university for Indian students? 

Unlike many other universities, we are pleased to guarantee a room in university accommodation to all new students if they meet a few simple conditions. We understand how important it is for students to know that they will have somewhere safe to live that is close to campus. There is a lot of choice for students studying in Sheffield, with accommodation available from the University and plenty of options in the private sector. Living in University accommodation is a great way to settle into life as a student at the University of Sheffield and students also benefit from on-site welfare support and a range of events and activities. 

7) How does the University ensure that the cultural and social welfare of its International students are taken into consideration?

We have been welcoming international students to our University for more than 100 years and provide a range of support services to help students succeed in their studies and settle into university life here in Sheffield.

We run a welcome and orientation programme to help students settle into life in the UK and familiarise themselves with our city. We also organize regular events and activities throughout the academic year and during the vacation periods. Our Students’ Union has been voted number one in the UK and has more than 350 different clubs, societies and volunteering opportunities for students to get involved in. We were also named the University of the Year for Student Experience according to The Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

8) How does the university's career cell navigate the tight job market in the UK? What is its success ratio?

Employability is at the heart of our programmes at Sheffield. We provide support to students wanting to take advantage of the Graduate Immigration Route visa, as well as providing opportunities during their studies. 

Our Careers Service supports students with one-to-one advice, workshops and networking opportunities, as well as promoting part-time work, placement and graduate opportunities. The University of Sheffield’s strong reputation with employers resulted in us being named one of the top 20 most targeted UK universities by top employers (High Fliers Research 2023).

We can see the drive and passion that Indian students bring to their studies, and their enthusiasm to take advantage of the opportunities available to them to further enhance their employability and career prospects. In the past three years, 750 students from the Faculty of Engineering have undertaken a year in industry as part of their programme - spending a year in a graduate-level role in an engineering company. For non-Engineering students, there are similar opportunities to gain experience through placement years and summer internships. 

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