Strengthening of Scotland - India links
Education Secretary Michael Russell will travel to Delhi and Kolkata with key education figures as team Scotland work to improve education links with India.
Mr Russell's programme features engagements to help strengthen Scottish universities links with India and take forward the Scottish Government's India plan, which seeks to build on the current market between the two countries.
The Education Secretary will also give a keynote address to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) conference of influential Indian business figures and open a new Scottish university campus in Greater Noida.
Mr Russell said:
"The links between Scotland and India go back very many years and cross a wide range of areas - from culture to education. This means Scotland is in a prime position to strengthen the co-operation as the Indian economy continues its rapid development.
"Previous visits by the First Minister, myself and the Finance Secretary have developed important links in renewable energy, secured investment by Indian companies in Scotland and started combined work between Scottish and Indian Universities.
"Indeed our India Plan is designed to ensure that Scotland maximises the potential for co-operation between the two countries. I know that many Scottish organisations are already reaping these benefits, as India is ranked 25th among Scottish export territories while Indian investment in Scotland provides around 5,000 jobs.
"One of the key aims of my visit is to build on existing co-operation and I will be visiting many of the institutions that are working with Scottish Universities and meeting with some of the key Indian business leaders who support this work.
"The excellence of the Scottish education system is well known - we have more world-class universities per head of population than any other nation in the world - and the links between our universities and those in India are already well established.
"We already have 3,780 Indian students studying in Scotland and I want to see this number grow as the cooperation between our universities and mutual economies goes from strength to strength."
Professor Dame Joan Stringer, Principal & Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, and Chair of Universities Scotland's International Committee, said:
"The shared heritage and enduring links between India and Scotland present a multitude of opportunities. Edinburgh Napier film students, for example, have benefited enormously from recently establishing a collaboration with a film school in Kolkata - the kind of cultural and educational initiative that is helping bring the Scottish Government's India Plan alive.
"In an increasingly globalised and competitive higher education sector, greater collaboration is firmly in the interests of both countries, which makes it more important than ever that Scottish universities continue to build on our well-established relationships with our Indian partners."
Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal & Vice Chancellor of the University of Glasgow said:
"The development of the relationship and ties between Scotland and India is of paramount importance, particularly in Higher Education.
"Scotland's universities are rightly held in high regard in India and we have a long history and strong record of educating students from the sub-continent. By developing further ties with our counterparts throughout India we can work together for a brighter future for both our countries.
"We are delighted to have the support of the Cabinet Secretary for Education & Lifelong Learning for our activities in India, which forms a central part of the Scottish Government's India plan."
Mr Russell will visit India from November 6 to November 13. He will visit Delhi and Kolkata.
The Education Secretary will undertake a wide and varied programme. This will include speaking at an internationally recognised conference, opening a new university campus, visiting a school and taking part in a Remembrance Day ceremony,
The Scottish Delegation includes Professor Dame Joan Stringer, Principal of Edinburgh Napier University and Chair of Universities Scotland's International Committee, Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Glasgow University, Professor Pete Downes OBE, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Dundee University and Professor Petra Wend, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Queen Margaret University.
This is SDI's third annual mission to the Summit, which is India's premier Education sector event. The primary objective of the Mission is to position Scottish higher education institutions as partners of choice for Indian academia and businesses.