Cambridge University has unveiled plans to launch a new admissions programme for India this year as part of UK-India Year of Culture celebrations. T
he elite university, which counts three former Indian prime ministers – Jawarharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh – among its alumni, announced this week that admissions staff will be travelling to India to visit schools and meet students face-to-face in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi.
“In autumn, a team of academics will visit India to conduct admissions interviews, so that applicants need not travel to the UK for that part of our application process,” a statement by the university said.
The announcement coincides with a visit to New Delhi this week by Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, to reconfirm the university’s commitment to attracting the “brightest and best students from India”.
“Many of India’s leading figures – academics, scientists, industrialists and politicians – have enjoyed a Cambridge education. Together we have achieved great things, and I know that by continuing to work together we will rise to even greater heights,” he said.
“We believe that diversity – of nationality, of background, and of opinion is one of Cambridge’s greatest strengths. We are a University that is open to the world and must remain so,” Prof Borysiewicz noted.
The centrepiece of the university town’s 2017 celebrations has been named ‘India Unboxed’, which will include a programme of exhibitions, events, digital engagement and installations organised by the University of Cambridge Museums and Botanic Garden.
Rooted in the museum collections, the programme will explore themes of identity and connectivity for diverse audiences in the UK and India.
“A series of profiles – ‘This Cambridge-Indian Life’ – will look at the people at the heart of the relationship between Cambridge and India: Indian scholars and students who study at Cambridge, Cambridge researchers working in collaborations based in India, and notable Indian alumni from the university,” the university said.
Throughout the year, the university will highlight key research collaborations that sit at the heart of Cambridge’s relationship with India.
“The world today faces critical challenges – in the fields of education, energy, food security, health, and politics – to name but a few. These challenges are serious, complex and urgent. My deeply held conviction is that Cambridge has a responsibility to address these challenges. We know we cannot solve any of these problems in isolation and are working with partners in India to find local solutions to global issues,” said Prof Borysiewicz.
Cambridge is home to three major joint UK-India centres: in cancer research, anti-microbial resistant tuberculosis, and crop science.
It has 85 collaborative research partnerships across India in fields from the arts and humanities to entrepreneurship to the sciences and technology.