London's Imperial College proactive on foreign recruitment after Brexit

Indo Asian News Service

Kolkata, April 10 (IANS) Imperial College of London has become more "proactive" on its "international recruiting" particularly after Brexit, its President Alice Gast said here on Monday.

"We are already realising that we need to be more proactive on our international recruiting and we are doing that. Brexit suddenly makes it imperative," Professor Gast said, adding that the premier academic institution in Britain is taking "more active and proactive views" on international recruitment.

She said policies have not been changed but rhetoric has been interpreted that the Britain is "less welcoming" foreign students.

"That is something we are working hard to make sure that it is not the case from our perspective because it is still quite open in policy point of view," Gast said on the sidelines of an event - Innovation and Research: Industry-University Collaboration- organised by CII.

"In the UK we are very weary of hearing about Brexit. Make no mistake, European students and staff are very important to Imperial and they should be important to you too. Many of our most successful research teams comprise British, European and other collaborators, sometimes, as I mentioned, from India," she said.

"It is important that the UK remains open and welcoming to students and staff from abroad," Gast said.

She said international collaboration between Britain and India was driving economic growth and increasing efficiency, environmental sustainability.

"Collaboration is the key to success. We have very strong collaborations around the world. Over 50 per cent of our publications involve a co-author in another country," she said.

"We have hugely successful alumni. More than 1,200 alumni live in India. We also have over 2,600 alumni from India living outside of India. We are inspired by their achievements," Gast added.

Asked about the tough visa laws, she said nothing has changed regarding the visa laws.

"We have some new opportunities like the streamline visa for some of our masters' programme. I have been the strong proponent of extending more of those types of pilot programmes... the streamline process helps us recruiting excellent students," Gast said.

She said entrepreneurism was growing at Imperial.

"We now have the Enterprise Centre for student entrepreneurs to connect with one another and receive mentorship and technical support. Our 300 current students from India are bright and entrepreneurial," she added.