Deputy First Minister John Swinney is leading a delegation of 21 senior staff from Scotland’s 19 higher education institutions to Mumbai and Delhi as the impending Brexit deal and the home office’s hard-line (see below) threatens the flow of EU students, endangering the viability and reducing the influx of talent to our universities.
There are currently 1 300 Indian students studying in Scotland and they are generally considered to be of high quality bringing both fee income and, when allowed to stay, often become involved in cutting-edge profitable research here. See for example:
Scottish university research to help developing nations remove arsenic from water supplies
Scotland’s world-leading expertise to the fore again in India and Bangladesh
As India’s population surges beyond 1 billion and as its middle class grows quickly, the demand for good quality higher education will grow exponentially and well beyond that which can be provided in India. There is a real opportunity for our quite large and well-respected HE sector to meet some of that demand, to the mutual benefit of both countries. Scottish Higher Education is relatively big for the size of the country, generating a great deal of wealth, so this initiative in particularly important. Scotland’s HE sector employs 38,450 people, supports over 142,000 jobs in the Scottish economy and creates £1.3 billion of export earnings from outside Scotland. Scotland has 15 universities while Denmark with roughly the same population (5-6 million) has only eight. As with the recent Scottish Governments initiatives to forge stronger trade links with the Arctic, Scandinavian and Baltic countries, in informed anticipation of damage to our trade after Brexit, this is an example of a government doing what it should be doing to protect and nurture our economic and cultural links. See this on these new links:
SNP leadership on hectic northern hemisphere mission, from the Baltic to Canada and a’ pairts atween thaim, to save Scottish Economy from Tory incompetence
See this on the almost certainly disproportionately severe damage to Scotland’s economy from Brexit:
Looks like a no-brainer for our brainier colleagues.