Leicester’s links with India are strengthened by subcontinent visit

The University of Leicester strengthened its Indian ties with a successful visit to the subcontinent led by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nishan Canagarajah.

The four-day March tour saw Prof Canagarajah outline how Leicester’s developing internationalisation strategy will set the University on a fresh strategic direction and roadmap for international engagement up to 2031.

He travelled to Delhi and Hyderabad to meet national education leaders and prospective University partners to explore areas for collaboration, in support of the new internationalisation strategy.

Prof Canagarajah also linked up with existing research partners, alumni and celebrated successful graduate stories of Indian students who have studied with Leicester. 

The city of Leicester enjoys strong links with India – it has one of Britain’s highest proportions of South Asians, a vast majority of them of Indian heritage, who make up 22 per cent of the city’s overall population.

The University has become a popular destination for students from the subcontinent, with graduates going on to successful careers in roles as diverse as data analysts, engineering managers, chief executive officers, professors and art curators.

Prof Canagarajah said: “Leicester is a home from home for thousands of staff and students from India and of Indian heritage. We are located in the UK’s foremost superdiverse city, renowned for its inclusivity and diversity.  

“We are enriched by our Indian heritage and the purpose of this mission was to galvanise our links and create partnerships with purpose that bring benefits to communities in both countries. The trip was a huge success and reaffirmed to me the importance of developing a closer relationship between the UK and India.”

The visit also gave Prof Canagarajah the opportunity to meet the team behind the University of Leicester-led global health research project, which is set to improve healthcare in the Asian subcontinent.

The £10 million project, led by Prof Kamlesh Kunti will be launched in Nepal, in April this year. 

The launch in Nepal will mark the beginning of the first stage of the research implementation where the researchers will review existing evidence, generate new data as required and talk to people living with these conditions to identify the best care approach for people with multimorbidity.

Funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) will allow the University of Leicester and the Public Health Foundation of India, Delhi, to collaborate with the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Jodhpur, Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth (HRIDAY), Delhi, and Kathmandu Medical College (KMC), Kathmandu, to establish the NIHR Global Health Research Centre for Multiple Long-Term Conditions. 

In the long-term, the University will work with the UK, Indian and Nepal governments to improve the health outcomes of those with multimorbidity, as well as create a self-sustaining international centre for improving management of multiple long-term conditions and disseminate outputs globally.