The University of Surrey was established on 9 September 1966 with the grant of its Royal Charter. However, the forerunner of the University, the Battersea Polytechnic Institute was founded in 1891 and began concentrating on science and technology from around 1920, teaching day and evening students for degrees of the University of London. With its roots going back to the late nineteenth-century, today, the University of Surrey campus is home to more 14, 000 students and 3000 staff, who together create a friendly community.
With music, arts, food and large gatherings of friends who have not met yet, Surrey, a county in the south east of England,is alive throughout the year with a fabulous program of festivals for all to enjoy. On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, however, the University of Surrey was not dancing to the tunes of renowned classical and contemporary artists, jazz musicians or big band arrangements. Instead, the atmosphere was completely 'Desi.'On the backdrops of peppy Bollywood songs and music played on Dhol ï¿½ the double-headed drums that feature widely in Indian music - over 600 students from the University of Surreydoused themselves in vibrant colours as Holi Festival was celebrated on the University's Stag Hill campus in Guildford. Organised by the Indian Students Association at the University of Surrey, the Holi Celebrations were grand with 400kg of powdered colours, Indian delicacies and live music.
Jenno Thanikkal, who is an Entrepreneur, Graduate and President of Indian Students Association at Universityof Surrey, says, "Holi involves everyone, which is nice to see because the whole aim of our society is to share our culture. The celebration was open to all students and our audience were unbelievably diverse."With over 150 students from India, who join a multicultural community that has over 30 percent of the students coming from more than 120 different countries, the University of Surrey is one of the most culturally diverse universities in the UK. The University's Students' Union has a number of country-specific societies, including the Indian Students' Association (ISA), which celebrates and represents Indian culture and Indian students within the university."Our clubs and societies are managed through the Students' Union, but contribute significantly to campus life and the ISA regularly participates in our international gala and also organises other events showcasing Indian culture, including Holi and Diwali celebrations. However, ISA is not just for Indian students, it is open to all who share an interest in any aspect of India," says Prof. Vince Emery, Senior Vice President - Global Strategy and Engagement, University of Surrey.
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. "Students from India are particularly valued for their diligence in working hard and for the contributions they make to the university outside the classroom, not least through the Indian Students' Association," addsProf. Emery.With more than 700Indian alumni members who are an invaluable source to the University, the University of Surrey is increasing its international alumni activities in Asia.Surrey's Indian alumni includes individuals holding senior positions in large business establishments along with others working on programmes, improving access to safe water and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.
"We have a range of approaches to attract international students, including country specific scholarship schemes aimed at India and also strategic partnerships with organisations such as the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme and the Chevening Scholarship Scheme. We have also collaborated with universities in Asia, where we facilitate graduates from an undergraduate degree programme into postgraduate taught or research programmes at the University of Surrey," claims Prof. Emery. Surrey has a number of scholarships for which students from India are eligible. The Surrey International Scholarship for Excellence offers awards of between 2,000 and 4,000 for students from India, wishing to study a Masters programme within either the Surrey Business School or the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The University is also proud to be offering three scholarships of 5,000 to engineering and physical sciences students through the GREAT India-Scholarships programme, in partnership with the British Council.
"Our students from India are studying a wide range of courses although there is a particular emphasis on engineering (especially automotive engineering, aerospace engineering, mobile and satellite communications, process systems engineering and structural engineering), business (especially finance and accounting), economics, entrepreneurship and the Surrey MBA," explains Prof. Emery. The University of Surrey offers its students the opportunity to pursue a degree in a friendly environment, at a UK top 10 University, on a safe, beautiful campus, located a little over 30 minutes away from Central London and, while doing so, gain real work experience through participation in the university's pioneering Professional Training placement programme.
At the University of Surrey, teaching of students is research- led and very much aims to engage students in their learning through a range of IT-enabled educational activities. Through their virtual learning environment, SurreyLearn, students can access all of the lecture materials and supporting materials needed for their learning, and lecturers frequently deploy the flipped classroom approach, small group tutorials and other methodologies to ensure that students experience a range of learning opportunities. This provides them with the skills to assimilate new knowledge, apply their knowledge to real world problems, and enhance their employability prospects. The availability of a Professional Training Year, which allows students to spend up to one year in industry or a combined work/study approach, is a particular asset, which contributes to their employability.
Unlike most of the Indian universities, Surrey is highly focused on knowledge creation. The 5G Innovation Centre, one of the world's first research centres dedicated to 5G mobile communications and future internet technologies is home to over 150 researchers and 100 PhD students. A consortium of key global players consisting of some of the world's leading mobile network operators, infrastructure and tools providers, as well as media and communications organisations and the regional partner Enterprise M3 LEP has pledged 58 million support. The development has also been awarded 11.6 million in UK Government investment. 36 for the construction of the Surrey Sports Park and 45 million for the establishment of a new School of Veterinary Medicine are some of the other recent significant investments that the University has made.
Surrey has also been selected, along with the University of Strathclyde, to enter into a partnership with the UK Government to lead the world-renowned National Physical Laboratory, a global centre of excellence in measurement science. "We have a number of MoUs with both industry and academia but, in addition, our researchers interface with a range of institutions globally in order to perform the highest quality research addressing global grand challenges. Over 50 percent of all of our research outputs feature an international co-author and there are 150 international universities with whom we have produced 10 or more joint publications in the last four years," says Prof. Emery.
The University of Surrey has partnerships with Indian industries and universities. Recent projects include a study of research on air pollution in megacities such as Delhi, which has resulted in a recent joint publication with the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee and another project with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the University of Hyderabad. Surrey academics also have a strong track-record of publications with the University of Delhi, the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
While the numbers of Indian students who wish to pursue higher education in the UK are increasing every passing year, Prof. Emery has some key messages. He says, "Firstly, the UK is still wishing to attract the very best students to study here and will offer a warm welcome. Secondly, a UK- based education will provide an excellent foundation for your future career. Thirdly, UK degrees remain amongst the most highly regarded in the world." When an Indian student arrives at the University of Surrey with newly unpackedbags, Prof. Emery welcomes them with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi "Be the change that you want to see in the World."Indeed, at the University of Surrey, they promise to do their best to help Indian students to realise this goal.
Prof. Vince Emery, Senior Vice President - Global Strategy and Engagement
Prof. Vince Emery is Senior Vice-President (Global Strategy and Engagement) and Professor of Translational Virology at the University of Surrey and holds an Honorary Professorship of Virology at University College London (UCL). He is also Chair of the Middle East and North Africa Community of Practice for Universities UK International. During his career, he has obtained in excess of 25 million of grant money from Government agencies in the UK and USA, charitable organisations, and the private sector and has an H-index of 61 and his work has been cited over 10,500 times. Prof. Emery has published in excess of 225 research articles, reviews and books.