By Professor Roger Jeffery, Dean for India, the University of Edinburgh
I’m now back home, after three weeks in India helping the University to showcase its strengths. Faculty from each of the University’s Colleges have been all over the country, and while I saw only a small part of what took place my impression – and that of others I have talked to, as well as the evidence of this blog site – is that it was a considerable success.
Firstly, the cumulative nature of what we were doing was noticed, and commented on, both in the media and in many conversations with opinion leaders and decision-makers. Ranald Leask, our International Press Officer from Communications and Marketing, and our local publicity agents made sure that press releases went out, and many of us were interviewed and photographed. The resulting articles covered a wide range of our activities and appeared in some of India’s most important media outlets, including The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Business Line, The Pioneer, and The Hindu.
Outside Delhi University with Edinburgh colleagues Amrita Sadarangani, Director of our Mumbai Office; Dr Wilfried Swenden from the School of Social & Political Science; and Professor Charlie Jeffery, Senior Vice-Principal
Secondly, most of these events are likely to lead to new initiatives, whether in joint teaching, faculty exchange, joint research proposals or student exchanges. Others cemented existing ties, offering the prospect of deepening links and more solid achievements. We can’t know if these benefits would have flowed anyway, but quite possibly the extra dynamism of the collective presence helped.
Of course, it’s not all over. Next steps include a debriefing session for those who were in India last month, so that we can learn what went well, and to prepare us for next time. But a lot of hard work is still to come, to turn the verbal and written agreements into real benefits for us and for our partners. And some exciting announcements should be forthcoming before too long, so watch this space…