The University’s relationship with India is a long one, beginning in 1909 with the first cohort of Indian students attending the University to study for degrees in Mining and Commerce. Since then, the University has provided education to around 2,000 outstanding Indian alumni. The alumni network in India extends across the entire country and some of India’s most distinguished and finest minds were educated at Birmingham, including Mr Ajit Kumar Seth, 30th Cabinet Secretary of the Republic of India; acclaimed writer and critic, the late Dr U R Ananthamurthy, recipient of the Jnanpith and Padma Bhushan awards. The University is the first Russell Group University in England to have an Indian-born Chancellor: Lord Karan Bilimoria. We have numerous research projects and partnerships in India, in critical areas such as women’s cancer, clean tech, cell biology and autophagy, genomics, cold engines, and the cold chain. Indeed, research collaboration with India has increased nearly threefold since 2012 (as measured by the number of jointly-authored academic outputs). And we have some 64 Indian-born members of staff and 180 Indian students currently studying undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a range of subjects.
With so much engagement in and with India, and with 2017 being the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence and the UK-India Year of Culture, it is timely to reinforce and focus our India engagement. So we have decided to create the University of Birmingham India Institute (UBII). The primary objective of UBII is to provide an overarching framework for the University’s links with India, and to be the focal point of the Birmingham-India relationship. It aims to increase the visibility, impact and coherence of the University’s engagement in India. The Institute's activities encompass academic research and scholarship; teaching and postgraduate research; policy analysis and debate; collaboration with corporate partners; and public engagement in culture.
The UBII will be officially launched on 29 January 2018, with talks and roundtable discussions with distinguished guests, and a cultural evening for all to enjoy. We look forward to seeing you there, and to your involvement with the UBII.
Professor Robin Mason
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) and interim Director of the UBII