Bevan, accompanied by Counselor Andrew Soper, handed over to Irani a congratulatory letter from Britain's Minister for Universities and Science David Willets, who plans to visit India later this year.

Welcoming it, Irani stressed that such interactions provide opportunities to further strengthen educational collaboration between the two countries.

The High Commissioner reiterated that the British government is keen on further strengthening its collaboration with India in the field of education and research.

He said that the Britain is looking forward to a new collaborative arrangement, UKIERI-III, which will focus on skills, leadership development and innovation.

Irani said that one of the basis for collaboration should be to remove barriers that hinder student mobility.

Citing examples, she highlighted that while prestigious universities like Oxford recognise India's CBSE certification, most other British varsities do not.

She also pointed out that the scores of the English language test (IELTS) needed for admissions in UK universities are currently valid only for one year. This should be extended at least for three years. Similarly, the visa norms should be more facilitative in nature, she suggested.

She said that the British government's recent initiative of the Newton Fund provides opportunities to collaborate for research on issues relating to energy, urbanisation, water, sanitation along with research on high altitude systems, which will be critical for the Central University of Himalayan Technology being planned by India.

Other areas of collaboration between the two countries that were discussed included partnering for the Massive Open Online Courses and the National e-Library being planned to be developed by India as well as sharing of expertise in the field of school education and teachers' training.


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