'Can we really save the environment just by keeping our cars in the garage?' is the question on the mind of working class people of Delhi as the State Government is all set to launch odd-even number plate-based system to bring down air pollution levels in the capital city.While the critics and promoters of this policy exchange blows over the pros and cons over the implementation on national forums, reports show that Delhi remains one of the most polluted capital cities in the world.One among the prominent organizations that reported on the 'toxic cocktail' in the atmosphere of Delhi was University of Surrey, a 124 year-old public research university located in the South East of England, U.K. A team of researchers from University of Surrey assessed how Delhi's landscape, weather, energy consumption culture and growing urban population combines to elevate concentrations of air pollutants, which include ultra-fine particles – which have been related with aggressive health implications, far worse than those classes of larger particulates. The study by University of Surrey also predicted that the number of vehicles on the roads of Delhi would increase from 4.7 million in 2010 to nearly 26 million by 2030, which led the Delhi state government to curb this growth by introducing new traffic policies.
"The University of Surrey has a history of tackling global challenges in its research. This is aptly demonstrated by the research of Dr. Prashant Kumar on 'Air Pollution in Megacities such as Delhi.' The findings will have direct impact on the development of policy and preventative measures in developed and developing countries," claims Prof. Vince Emery, Pro Vice-Chancellor International Relations, University of Surrey. Similarly, the university's interactions with Tata Steel to revolutionize renewable energy involve research students forging links between Indian institutions, Tata and the University of Surrey with a flow of researchers in both directions. The first project will bring together researchers from the University of Surrey and the University of Hyderabad, with collaborators from Tata Steel Research and Development U.K. to look into how to effectively capture and store solar energy using an approach known as 'inorganics-in-organics', in which composite materials work together to increase efficiency. The second project will examine the use of zinc oxide nonmaterial in ultra-high sensitivity gas sensors. These gas sensors can be used in environmental monitoring devices to deliver improved sensitivity and increased energy efficiency.
With a pedagogy that is centered on research-led teaching and relevant tie-ups with organizations around the world, the University of Surrey has made a global impact in higher education, which is evident today as the university is one of the Top 10 Universities in the U.K. in national league tables and one of the Top 300 Universities internationally. The considerable rise in the number of applications received in the recent years, with 2014/15 contributing in excess of 1000 applications from India, goes to show the popularity of University of Surrey among Indian students. "Indian students enter into a multicultural environment at the University of Surrey, with over 30 percent of our students coming from an international background. They can interface with students from Brazil through to Europe and Nigeria. Our Indian alumni are an invaluable source to the University and we are increasing our international alumni activities in Asia with a desire to enhance our interactions with our Indian alumni," says Prof. Emery.
Currently, the university is in contact with over 600 alumni in India and high profile Indian alumni based elsewhere such as the Chief Technologist at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Centre. The alumni members across Asia add substantially to furthering the university's profile in the region and in assisting in both student recruitment and profile raising while providing opportunities for work placements through professional training programs. In addition to that, the University of Surrey has a range of approaches to attract international students including country specific scholarship schemes aimed at India and strategic partnerships with organizations such as the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme and the Chevening Scholarship Scheme. The international community of staff and students at the University of Surrey provides a cosmopolitan campus and allows students to develop their global citizenship skills, which will be invaluable in the global workplace.
University of Surry empowers students to take ownership of their learning to produce individuals who are curious and who understand how to use information to further their academic development. Thus, small group teaching, flipped classrooms, the use of virtual learning environment called "SurreyLearn" to complement lectures and laboratory classes, are all modalities of University of Surrey that provide one of the best student experiences in the U.K. Today, the University of Surry campus at Guildford houses approximately 130 Indian students and Prof. Emery likes to welcome students from India with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi "Be the change that you want to see in the World". Indeed, an Indian student going to the University of Surrey will be able to realize this dream.
Prof. Vincent Emery, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International Relations)
Prof. Emery is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (International Relations) and Professor of Translational Virology at the University of Surrey and holds an Honorary Professorship of Virology at University College London (UCL). He started his scientific career as a biochemist but has been a virologist for the last 29 years. Since the beginning of May 2015, Professor Emery has been in the role of Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation).
The considerable rise in the number of applications received in the recent years, with 2014/15 contributing in excess of 1000 applications from India, goes to show the popularity of University of Surrey among Indian students.