India urged to champion Scottish higher education


External Affairs Minister Humza Yousaf has urged almost 70 of India’s most prominent Scottish alumni to become advocates for Scotland and its unique higher education system.

At an event in New Delhi today, Mr Yousaf asked Indian alumni of Scottish universities, major employers from both India and Scotland, and representatives of Scottish higher education to unite in a drive to promote the distinctive benefits of living, working and studying in Scotland.

The event aimed to showcase the distinct quality of Scottish higher education and encourage more Indians to choose Scotland as a place to live, work, visit, invest and do business.

It follows a meeting the Minister hosted in Glasgow last week with Indian students currently studying at Strathclyde University, some of who have been supported through the Scottish Government’s Saltire Scholarships programme.

Mr Yousaf said:

“Scotland is world-renowned for excellence in higher education. Five of our universities rank in the top 200 in the Times Higher World Universities Ranking, and a new British Council Scotland report shows that the Scottish system rates highly against the rest of the world and the overall learning satisfaction of our international students is unmatched worldwide.

“These findings back up what we’ve known for a long time – that our overseas students can and do enjoy a fulfilling academic experience in Scotland, and that they contribute significantly to student life. That view was reinforced by the Indian students I met at the University of Strathclyde last week.

“Our relationship with India is very important to us. As one of the world’s fastest expanding economies, an important investor and a country where young people make up more than half of the population, India is a major priority for our overseas engagement.

“Scotland’s ambition is to further strengthen our existing links with India – by securing new inward investment, encouraging more students to enrol at our universities, and enticing more tourists to visit Scotland.

“Today’s event was an opportunity for Scotland to reengage with some of our most prominent and successful Indian alumni, to encourage them to put their own positive experiences of studying in Scotland to excellent use by becoming ambassadors for Scotland and our world-class higher education system.

“Their task now is to help us spread the word throughout India – our third largest international market for students – that Scotland is a great place to live, study, work, visit, do business and invest.”

Ian Diamond, Principal of the University of Aberdeen and Convenor of Universities Scotland’s International Committee, said:

“The Scottish Government is working extremely hard with universities in Scotland to enable people to come to Scotland to study in a friendly, safe, beautiful and lively nation.

“No other country the size of Scotland has four universities in the world’s top 150 and we believe the Scottish Higher Education curricula are unequalled anywhere else.

“Whatever the discipline, a Scottish education provides graduates with intellectual breadth as well as rigour and access to unrivalled facilities.

“Education is more than what you learn in the classroom or laboratory and a Scottish education prepares a graduate to become a citizen of the world – training them for the next stage of their career and providing them with the employability skills they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive global labour market.”