Vice-Chancellor: "Collaborate rather than compete" in India

Image credit: University of Cambridge

Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, who has spent this September touring India to encourage collaborations between Cambridge and Indian academics, has spoken against the possibility of establishing a foreign campus.

This is Sir Leszek’s fifth visit to India since he became Vice-chancellor in 2010. For over one hundred and fifty years Cambridge has valued its close relationship with India. The first students from India arrived in Cambridge in the mid-nineteenth century and former students include three Indian Prime Ministers, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.

Following the approval by the Indian government of a bill three years in the making which will allow foreign universities to set up branches in the country, Cambridge was amongst the first international universities to rule out such a move.

In an email to the Indian Express, Sir Leszek described the changes to the system as “an interesting development” and expressed his respect for the “quality, excellence and potential in the Indian higher education sector”, but ruled out the establishment of a new branch in the country: “Cambridge wishes to collaborate rather than compete, to be a partner rather than a rival.”

In an interview with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office he explained, “We’re not looking to set up our own undergraduate campus here for three reasons: 1. It would be very difficult to recreate the collegiate experience Cambridge students currently benefit from; 2. It’s a long way from Cambridge to India and it would be very difficult to ensure the same quality of offering – we will not compromise on excellence; 3. Our India strategy is all about collaborations –we want collaboration with Indian institutions, not setting up in competition.”

“We don’t believe you can replicate the quality, structure and faculty of Cambridge anywhere else overseas,” added a spokesman for the Vice-Chancellor.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories

In this section

Across the site

Best of the Rest