Pro Vice-Chancellor's visit to India will consolidate strong relationships

Thursday, 11 February 2010


Oxford Brookes Pro Vice-Chancellor to visit India.

Oxford Brookes' Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor John Raftery will strengthen the university’s links with India when he visits the country from 13 to 20 February.

Professor Raftery will be visiting Panjab University Chandigarh, the University of Calcutta and the British Council in the national capital New Delhi.

He will officially open a new Brookes office in Chandigarh which delivers personalised service to potential students and institutions interested in working with the university. The office is staffed by Brookes alumnus and Indian national Gaurav Sharma.

Oxford Brookes attracts more international students from India than from any other country apart from China, and the university has emphasised the importance of this relationship by founding a postgraduate Indian scholarship which was awarded for the first time this year. Recipient Manmmet Kaur is a masters student at the university’s Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP), who has worked with children and young people in deprived areas of Delhi.

Professor Raftery will also visit a government-sponsored project where another Brookes alumna works at Aya Nagar on the outskirts of Delhi. Pritika Mandal, one of many Brookes CENDEP graduates based across India, works on a development project directed by Ashish Ganju of the Greha Foundation. Working in partnership with the local population, the project aims to find sustainable ways to upgrade the poor living conditions of the settlement and provide a model for other areas to adopt.

The Pro Vice-Chancellor's visit testifies to Oxford Brookes’ commitment to strong relationships with Indian universities. Doctoral students share workshop and Brookes students have recently returned from a field trip to Orissa. High profile research staff, both here and in India have cooperated on joint projects over recent years. Current collaborations include working with staff in Calcutta University to increase the protein content of rice and the organisation of conferences with institutions such as Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, The British Council and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors looking at urban sustainability in India for the twenty first century.

Professor Raftery has strong personal links with staff at the universities and organisations involved. He says:

‘Indian students come to us in large numbers and we want to go there to give something back. Through this visit we will get close not only to our alumni but to the wider academic community and to young people in India.

Oxford Brookes academics have lectured in India recently on sustainability and climate change.

If you would like to learn more about the programmes available to Indian students please contact Andrew Bird at a.bird@brookes.ac.uk