In 1999, Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology, Newcastle University was working as an academician at Delhi. Mitra\'s office was near a slum, which gave him the idea of knocking down a wall to install a computer with an internet connection for the use of local children. He left the computer for their use unsupervised, and found that after only a month the kids had taught themselves how to use the computer - boosting their English and maths skills at the same time. Mitra named his initiative as \'Hole in the Wall.\' Meanwhile, Vikas Swaroop, a famous Indian novelist and diplomat got instantly fascinated about this project. He started exchanging mails with Mitra. As a writer, Vikas Swaroop got what he had anticipated â€“ an interesting thread for his next book. Inspired from \'Hole in the Wall,\' a novel named \'Q&A\' was born in the words of Vikas Swaroop, which later turned to the Oscar winning movie - Sulmdog Millionaire.
The story of \'Slumdog Millionaire\' is quite a famous one now. Like the film, Mitra\'s educational initiatives have also beaten all expectations. Delhi now has 48 computer \"holes\", and Mitra - who has been teaching educational technology on master\'s courses at Newcastle University - is expanding his project to UK primary schools, using the same techniques to help children in Gateshead, UK, as he did in India. His latest plan involves uniting Indian and UK initiatives. Newcastle University is one of the greater supporters of this initiative. Mitra is a strong link that connects Newcastle University with India, however, India had many professors and students from this UK based University even before Mitra came into this picture.
A Historical Flashback
Unlike many Indian Universities, Newcastle University has a long history of academic excellence to describe. The current Newcastle University originated from School of Medicine and Surgery, which was established in Newcastle upon Tyne in October 1834. A series of dispute among teaching staffs forced the school split into two rival institutions in 1851. The after effects of this initial splitting continued till early 1960s. Finally putting full stop to the disputes, on August 1963, an Act of Parliament created the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, better known as Newcastle University.
From there, the university started attracting students within the country as well as globally. At present, the University has an enrolment of almost 16,000 undergraduate and 5,600 postgraduate students from more than 120 countries worldwide. \"We are a thriving global community with almost 5,000 international students â€“ around 20 percentage of our total student population - coming from over 120 countries worldwide. And 30 percentage of our staff are from overseas,\" says Professor Richard Davies, Pro Vice Chancellor Engagement and Internationalisation, Newcastle University.
Even though, Newcastle University had a very good reputation among the global universities, it was not the favourite destination for Indian students till the end of 20th century. The less number of students travelling abroad from India in that period comparing to the present scenario was a major reason for this. It has to admit that the economic condition of Indian middle class families were a huge obstacle to send their children abroad only for studies. In the last 10 years, the world has been witnessing a gradual increase in number of Indian students spreading all across the globe to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate programs. UK being one of the favourite countries for this Indian student-migrates, Newcastle University is also ready with attractive offers, especially for Indian Students.
Tailor Made Courses for Indian Students
In 2012, Newcastle University introduced a range of postgraduate and research programs considering the specific needs of Indian students. The new 19 postgraduate and six masters of research programs offered by the university was on the fields of Architecture, Biomedicine, Biosciences, Business and Management, Finance and Accounting Civil and Mechanical Engineering and Computer Sciences. The comments from Preety Bansal, Country Manager - India, Newcastle University about this new development were the clarification for the university\'s plan to augment the Indian student\'s strength. While addressing the media, she said, \"The rapid development in the field of management, biosciences, biotechnology, engineering and architecture in India has resulted in a huge market demand for skilled professionals in these disciplines. Newcastle University is continuing to grow its portfolio of courses to appeal to this increasingly important international market.\" The new courses introduced by the University started from September 2012 and it can be pursued full time over a period of 12 months.
As the university has a special eye on the Indian students, the international office visits India at least four times a year to meet with students across the country, conduct presentations and to meet with careers advisory staff. Currently, there are 227 Indian students studying at Newcastle University across both undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
In addition to gaining a qualification from a world-leading institution, a Newcastle University student can benefit from the teaching quality, learning resources and state-of-the-art facilities, which support them to acquire the knowledge and experience to realize their academic and professional potential. Along with the university campus, the Newcastle city also offers a vibrant life style for students across the world. \"In general, anyone wanting to pursue their Masters in the UK with a \'once in a lifetime\' kind of experience, Newcastle University is the place to be!\" says Vaibhav Raje, M.Sc, Agricultural and Environmental Science (2009 â€“ 2010). He is true. Some moments will come only once in a lifetime. It was once in a lifetime experience For Mitra, who unknowingly became a part of Oscar Winning movie. Undoubtedly, Newcastle University is \'Once in a lifetime\' experience for the global community of students, because, it has something for everyone.
Newcastle University India Scholarships
The university has announced two scholarships for the most eligible Indian students who wish to pursue undergraduate programs in the academic year 2014-15. This will provide a great financial relief to brilliant students from the country, as the scholarship will cover around Rs 3 Lakhs. However, these are available for those students who are applying for entry onto taught degree programs within the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS), Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE) and Medical Sciences (FMS).
The Money Making Researches
In 2013, Newcastle University\'s research income increased to 128 Million British Pounds, which are slightly more than three \'Mangalyaan\' projects of India. Over the past two years, the institution has worked with 540 small and medium-sized enterprises to support their growth. In the last three years, 140 spinouts and graduate businesses have been launched by the University and are still active, bringing jobs and new investment to the North East region of UK.