The Exeter-NIAS Project Team assemble

Archaeology and Drama departments receive delegation from India as alliance with National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore matures

The College was delighted to host a delegation of esteemed colleagues from the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) Bangalore last week.

The group visited the College as part of an annual series of meetings to discuss the ongoing development of the Exeter-NIAS split-site postgraduate degree programme.

The University of Exeter and NIAS entered into a prestigious partnership agreement in order to create this split-site programme of study in December 2011.  Since then, it has enabled ten postgraduate students in Archaeology and Drama to earn a University of Exeter degree whilst undertaking supervision and fieldwork across the two institutions.

The visit, which takes place on an annual basis, allows the NIAS team an opportunity to experience first-hand the facilities on offer to students studying at the Streatham Campus, and provides invaluable time for both the Exeter and NIAS faculty to meet their jointly-supervised students.  In addition, as the students often undertake individual fieldwork across the two countries, the visit allows the group to meet together as a whole in order to share their experiences of undertaking study across the two very different campuses and cultures.

This year the delegation included four academic members of staff at NIAS; Professor Sangeetha Menon, Professor Sharada Srinivasan, Dr Anita Kurup, Dr Shivali Tukdeo and the Head of Administration at NIAS Mr Srinivasa Aithal.  As part of the visit they undertook a tour of the campus, participated in meetings with Exeter co-supervisors and their jointly supervised students, and undertook University of Exeter induction procedures.  The visit ended with a traditional Devon cream tea, allowing the Exeter-NIAS Project Team and student cohorts to meet together as a group informally.

The programme originated out of the UKIERI Pioneering Metallurgy Archaeometallurgical Survey, a joint venture in 2009-11 between the Department of Archaeology at the University of Exeter and NIAS.  This provided a supportive platform for advancement of the research initiated under the sponsorship of the UKIERI project, and brought experts and the students from UK and India together to achieve a world-class research output.

The College of Humanities was thereafter awarded two grants to develop split-site PhDs, in Archaeology and Drama by the UK-India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI).  These grants will continue to enable exchanges with staff and researchers until Autumn 2014.

The alliance has enabled students at both institutions to access the professional expertise, experience and multi-disciplinary approach to research at NIAS, as well as the academic excellence of researchers, research culture, and academic facilities at the University of Exeter.

Professor Andrew Thorpe, Associate Dean of Research for the College, comments, “It’s been a great pleasure to welcome our NIAS colleagues to Exeter and given us the opportunity to discuss the progress of the large group of excellent MPhil and PhD students working under our joint supervision. India is very important to the College’s internationalisation strategy and we have recently made some superb appointments of colleagues in this area. We very much hope and intend that, as the College moves forward with its India strategy, NIAS will remain a significant partner for us.”

For more information about studying on the split-site degree, please see the College of Humanities split-site study page.

Date: 25 September 2013

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