Additionally, the University of Edinburgh will open a new biotechnology university in the Indian state of Gujarat in July 2021, which the UK government has welcomed as “the first foreign university collaboration of its kind in India”.

UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab has attended meetings in India this week, as the two countries seek to build a “closer relationship” over the next decade.

In a meeting on December 16, Raab and Indian minister for education Ramesh Pokhriyal agreed to work together on mutual recognition of academic qualifications, starting with master’s degrees, over the next year.

The news was welcomed by Universities UK International as “fantastic progress” in an area it has worked on with members and sector partners, such as British Council India.

UKCISA also called for the UK government to “prioritise the international recognition of qualifications in government-to-government dialogue and future FTAs” in its position paper to help deliver a “world-class” international student experience.

The mutual recognition will “benefit Indian students enrolling in UK universities while supporting India’s New Education Policy 2020 vision”, the British Council India noted.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson is set to travel to India in January, his first major overseas visit after the Brexit transition comes to an end on January 1.

However, the UK is not the only country with which India is looking to collaborate on education. Education ministers from India and the UAE also met earlier in December to “take forward the strong cooperation between the two countries in the field of education”, India’s embassy in the UAE confirmed.

Back in 2018, Indian and French counterparts agreed a similar initiative on the mutual recognition of academic qualifications, which French president Emmanuel Macron hoped would help double the number of Indian students attending higher education institutions in France.

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