Four new partnerships forged between Dundee College and organisations in India and Nepal reflect both the city’s traditional links with the sub-continent and new technologies where the college has a degree of expertise.
Dundee’s history is comprehensively linked with jute and once again this environmentally-friendly fibre is tying the sub-continent and the city together.
Following a mission to India organised by Scotland’s Colleges International early this year, Dundee College and South Delhi Polytechnic for Women are working together in a bid to allow four fashion and design students, two from each organisation, to embark on a student exchange.
Taking the form of a competition this scheme will allow two students from Dundee College the chance to visit India and explore traditional methods of working with textiles, while two Indian students will visit Dundee. The project theme is jute, its historic significance in linking Dundee with India and its modern potential as an eco-friendly fashion fabric.
Meanwhile, the college’s engineering, welding and fabrication unit has forged strong links with three colleges in Nepal – Balaju College of Engineering & Technology, Nepal Polytechnical Institute, and Nowakwot Trade School.
Already Dundee College engineering students have had the chance to support their Nepalese counterparts in designing portable solar packs to generate electricity for rural villages which currently have no access to power.
Jeff Imrie, senior lecturer engineering, welding, has visited Nepal twice in the past year.
“The most important resource of Nepal is its people who are energetic and live life to the full,” reports the lecturer.
“They are incredibly hospitable and eager to share their culture and traditions with the world.”
The success of these partnerships was partly due to financial support from two government funding programmes, Prime Minister’s Initiative (PMI 2) and UKIERI (UK and India Education and Research Initiative).
This initial funding allowed the organisation of exchange programmes for staff and students which, in turn, will lead to more international students coming to Dundee College, and raise the college profile with international funding agencies such as the British Council and the World Bank.
Dundee College has already welcomed 11 Nepali students who are taking part in courses across the curriculum.
Staff and students in the college’s automotive technology unit will be able to talk to colleagues from Sir C V Raman Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) in Dheerpur, a suburb of New Delhi.
This pilot partnership is designed to open the door to future opportunities as there are 17 ITIs in Dehli alone – supported by World Bank funding.