The Higher Education sector in Tamil Nadu (India) is moving at an accelerated pace to achieve the Government’s Vision 2023 that envisaged the growth of higher education as well as providing a world class education to the students across the state. Tamil Nadu Government’s Study Abroad Programme is one of the schemes developed to provide an opportunity for students to go to some of the world best universities in the United Kingdom.
The study abroad programme is a fully funded scheme of Tamilnadu State Government to support students from Government Colleges and Universities especially from the lower economic and social background from across Tamil Nadu to study one semester in the UK. Annually 25 postgraduate students in Physical, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Business, Computer Sciences, IT, Management from public funded state universities have studied one semester in UK Universities.
In addition, Tamil Nadu Government is also funding 5 faculty members to be in an UK University either doing a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme or faculty development programme or a short research project.
Scheme, facilitated by the British Council, is launched in the year 2014 and currently in it’s third year.
UK Universities to host students and faculty members for the year 2015-16 are:
Anglia Ruskin University
Sheffield Hallam University
University of Dundee
University of Wolverhampton
If you would like to know more about the programme, please write to IHE.India@in.britishcouncil.org
Student's feedback on Year 1 of the programme
I am Ms Sangeetha Manokaran, Student of Bharathi Women's College, Chennai. I have been selected for the Study Abroad Programme to do my third semester of Masters degree in Mathematics at the Royal Holloway University of London. I am so happy and fortunate to study in Royal Holloway which has a lively and conducive Mathematics department. I will utilize this golden opportunity optimally to build my Career. The papers that I'm going to study in UK are completely application Oriented. So, I'm looking forward to know the applications of mathematics. I believe that it will expand my employability prospects and I'm expecting a great cultural exchange too. In future, I will pursue research work in papers which I learn in uK and surely I will contribute my best to the society,s welfare. Thanking our Honourable CM and other officials for everything.
The public in general and academic community in particular have appreciated and congratulated the scheme, the British Council’s role as scheme is expected to transform the lives of these young students and the professional development of the faculty members.
I am Priya Dhandapani doing final year Masters in Mathematics in Bharathi Women's College (Autonomous) Chennai. I am one of the students who got selected in the Study Abroad Programme' British Council tested the English proficiency levels. At the end of all the screening tests, British council selected the candidates who will be able to hit the required band scores expected by the International universities in the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The selected candidates were provided 20-hour intensive course ie, an one week training at the British Council. The training at the British Council helped me a lot to undergo the IELTS and I scored a band score of 6.5 in the IELTS. I thank British Council for this. I got an offer to study in the University of Birmingham. I am very glad to study in an international university. Mostly the students used to have a lecture class first and then self-study next' But at Birmingham it is going to be in the reverse which I am going to experience for the first time. I am looking forward to it and due to this I can get access to a number of latest books in the library and acquire knowledge to help me choose my research area. I hope this three months learning process at the University of Birmingham would bring a good change in my studies and helps to do my fourth semester and future projects better than before.
Faculty member's feedback on Year 1 of the programme
The Study Abroad Programme has been a historical milestone in the history of higher education in India with respect to equity, affordability and accessibility to the socio-economically disadvantaged students of government colleges. The initiative by the Honourable Chief Minister is not only going to change the next generation and their future prospects, but also provide opportunities for faculty members to upgrade their professional skills on par with the international academicians and enable to launch TamilNadu into the global league. As an awardee of the fellowship, it has provided me an opportunity to collaborate with peers from Nottingham and develop suitable strategies for implementation in the government college environment. Adaptation and using international benchmarking (Common European Framework of Reference) to design, develop and produce language teaching/learning material are the prime objective of the research work that I propose to carry out during my stay there. There has been a demand-supply mismnatch with regard to employability vs jobs ratio. The need to tailor the courses to cater to the immediate professional needs of the learners is imperative. Peer observation and the application of theoretical models in real classroom teaching in native speaker's contexts would throw light on glocalising the theory for the local teaching contexts to reap the expected results. The TANSCHE-BCL interface has been a platform to empower me to use the state-of -the-art techniques and technology for language teaching. I'm looking forward to a rewarding experience which will give me enough strategies to share through workshops as a trainer once I'm back in India. I heartily thank the TamilNadu government for launching this innovative project and opening it to faculty members too.
Dr. T. Jayasudha
Associate Professor of English
Bharathi Women's College, Chennai