University of Leicester explores further links with India during Consul General visit

Dr Venkatachalam Murugan with some of our students.

The ties between India and the University of Leicester have been strengthened following a campus visit from a representative of the Indian government.

Consul General of India in Birmingham, Dr Venkatachalam Murugan, met students and key senior staff during his visit, which took place on Thursday 9 May.

Dr Venkatachalam held talks with Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Professor of Cardiology, Sir Nilesh Samani, Professor of Actuarial Science, Leena Sodha and Kamlesh Khunti, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine.

Together they discussed a number of issues and opportunities, before Dr Venkatachalam met with five students from India who are studying in Leicester.

From left: Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Sir Nilesh Samani, Dr Venkatachalam Murugan, Professor Nishan Canagarajah and Professor Leena Sodha.

Professor Canagarajah said: “We were delighted to welcome Dr Venkatachalam to the University and his visit allowed us to discuss the opportunities the University has to collaborate and partner with organisations across the subcontinent.

“The timing of his visit was quite fitting, as we have just announced the first fruits of our partnership with the Apollo Hospitals Group, in India – a new programme partnership to be delivered in conjunction with The Apollo University.”

Professor Canagarajah added: “It was also particularly pleasing to see Dr Venkatachalam make time to speak to our students, to find out about their experiences of studying overseas with us.”

The visit saw discussions around the ways higher education and the University of Leicester might support with strengthening ties between the UK and India. The talks also touched on the University’s Space Park Leicester and its track record of working with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

In October 2023, the University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with integrated healthcare service provider, The Apollo Hospitals Group. The memorandum set out a mutual desire to promote international cooperation and explore collaborative education and research programmes, particularly in the fields of healthcare management, healthcare and data science.

Professor Khunti, meanwhile, is co-leading a £10m flagship study to help improve the care outcomes of people living with multiple long-term health conditions or multimorbidity in India and Nepal.

The city of Leicester also has strong links with India, having 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 overall population.