The University of Portsmouth will be signing a new memorandum of understanding with Raksha Shakti University in Ahmedabad that will allow the two universities to collaborate in areas of criminal justice, forensic science, cyber security and counter fraud.

The collaboration will look at how students and staff from both the universities can come together and produce meaningful work in relevant fields of criminology and criminal justice studies.

UOP houses the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, which is the leading UK centre for research and learning in criminology, criminal justice and related fields. The researchers at this institute have improved fingerprint development methods and other forensic techniques.

Professor Chris Chang, pro-vice chancellor global engagement of UOP was in India recently where he spoke about the MOU and how such collaboration can lead to good, wholesome research and exchange of knowledge. Excerpts:

Q. What are you expecting from this MOU?

This MOU provides the strategic framework between the University of Portsmouth and Raksha Shakti University to explore collaboration in a number of areas; particularly in research and staff/student exchanges.

This enables our academic staff to start the dialogue on how they will collaborate together and we hope that there will be visits from staff to each other’s institutions and will lead to joint research and publications.

We would like to see the two institutions jointly bid for funds from both the UK and India such as the Newton Bhaba funds to support the research work by our two universities.

Q. What is your vision for the future of the relationship between the UOP and India?

Our Global Engagement Strategy makes it clear that we wish to have a global footprint across the world and India being the sixth largest in terms of GDP in the world is an important country for us to be collaborating with.

We would like to see Indian students studying with us either for their full undergraduate degree or Master’s but also on exchange programmes. In return we would like to see our students spending time with our university partners in India in order to gain an experience of studying and living there in order to develop their global outlook.

We already have collaboration with institutions in India in areas of health and wellbeing as well as gender equality but would also like to see our academic colleagues developing more collaboration in joint research and publications.

Q. Is there any other institute in India you’re partnering with?

We have MOUs with a number of Indian universities and these include — Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Chandigarh University, Jyoti Nivas College, University of Mumbai and Shivaji University. We believe that universal collaboration is important for our university’s global footprint.

We are also the principal investigator in a research project funded by The Joint Global Research Programme: Women’s and children’s health. This is a partnership between the Medical Research Council UK and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in India working in collaboration with the UK Department for International Development, India Office (DFID).

The project is focused on the “Impacts of Demand Side financing Instruments on the Continuum of Care for Maternal and Child Health in India and Bangladesh.”

Q. What are some programmes that seem popular among Indian students applying to the University of Portsmouth?

The programmes that are popular with Indian students include our MSc in international business and management, LLM, MSc electronic engineering, MSc mechanical engineering, MSc business and management, MSc international finance and banking, hospitality management with tourism, pharmacy and computing courses amongst others. However, we are starting to see Indian students opting for courses in sports science, digital media and computer games technology.

Q. Given the current political climate in Britain, what job opportunities might be open to Indian graduates in the UK?

The global job market is really competitive at present and this is the same in the UK. For Indian students they would be able to compete in the UK job market — our international students have gone onto careers in banking and finance, IT, engineering, education as well as multinationals as well as medium-sized enterprises.

Ultimately whether they are successful would depend on how well they perform in the interview and the strength of their CV. Hence, having an excellent resume and a good interview approach is important. Where they are able to secure a job at the right level and their employer can sponsor them for a work visa then they will be able to stay in the UK.

It is important for Indian students to make use of the careers service in the university to help them prepare and develop their interviewing skills to give them the best chance of success in looking for employment.

Q. What are some of the changing trends you have noticed when it comes to the preferences of Indian students going for higher studies?

In recent years we have seen a rise in popularity of more specific or specialised courses such as sports science/management, and specialised business courses like digital marketing or brand management.

In the next few years as traditional jobs change with a greater focus on artificial intelligence, communications and robotics then courses such as cyber security and cyber crime, virtual and augmented reality, data science or big data as well as other computer, electronics and IT related courses will prove to be popular as this is where future jobs will be.