British Council, the UK’s international organization for educational opportunities and cultural exchange, and the Department of Higher and Technical Education, Government of Maharashtra, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen educational and cultural exchange to promote the state’s aspirations for knowledge and economic development. According to an official statement, this partnership aligns with the Government of Maharashtra’s vision to empower youth through increased opportunities, improved quality of higher education, and skills development initiatives.
The MoU was signed by Chandrakant Dada Patil, Hon’ble Minister, Government of Maharashtra, Department of Higher and Technical Education and Alison Barrett MBE, Director India, British Council. Vikas Chandra Rastogi, IAS, Principal Secretary of Higher Education and Rashi Jain, Director of West India, British Council, signed the MoU.
The agreement’s objective is to enhance the Government of Maharashtra’s current partnership with the British Council India to bolster the quality of higher education and skills within the state. The collaboration seeks to furnish young individuals with a superior education that is on par with global standards, in addition to internationally-recognized evaluations, abilities and credentials. The statement further mentioned that the partnership promotes the exchange of culture, creativity, and concepts.
Speaking on the partnership, Chandrakant Dada Patil, Hon’ble Minister, Government of Maharashtra, Department of Higher and Technical Education, said:
We want Maharashtra’s higher education institutions to be internationalized and want to create opportunities that will increase collaboration between India and the UK, which in turn will help improve skills and confidence of young people in the state. We look forward to developing high-quality partnerships with UK higher education institutions to create better research and development facilities, and we hope to create a tangible positive impact in students’ lives across the state.
As per the agreement, British Council will support the internationalization of higher education in Maharashtra, including research and mobility. The deal has been drafted to enable the state government to create opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration in areas of mutual interest. The two entities will work closely to strengthen Maharashtra’s higher education ecosystem with a focus on activities for capacity building and leadership development and faculty training to support the internationalisation agenda through face-to-face and virtual workshops, training, mentoring and knowledge exchange. Representatives from the Government of Maharashtra and the British Council will form a working group to enable the implementation of this partnership.
Alison Barrett MBE, Director India, British Council, added:
As British Council, we strive to create connections between institutions across India and the UK by promoting collaboration on shared interests and fields of study which can help us tackle global challenges together. Under this agreement with Maharashtra, we will engage in high-level policy dialogues to familiarise policymakers with institutional priorities around levelling up and creating an environment that fosters excellence. Together we aim to improve the students’ experience and employability and build a better social-economic future for Maharashtra.
Rashi Jain, Director of West India, British Council, commented:
We are excited to partner with the state of Maharashtra in our shared objective of empowering the higher education faculty and staff with new skills, resources and methodologies for delivering high-quality education. By enabling the higher education system, we hope the new programme will have a cascading effect on Maharashtra’s knowledge ambitions and economic growth. This is a significant initiative in our long-standing relationship with the state. We are committed to working closely to ensure this exercise translates into a transformative delivery of education across the state, benefitting young students.
British Council works directly with individuals to help them gain the skills, confidence and connections to transform their lives and shape a better world in partnership with the UK. The platform supports them to build networks and explore creative ideas, learn English, get a high-quality education, and gain internationally recognized qualifications. It works with people in over 200 countries and territories and is on the ground in more than 100 countries.