UK: INSA welcomes new Indian cohort

UK: INSA welcomes new Indian cohort

Lords Rami Ranger and Karan Bilimoria were among the speakers at a landmark event to welcome new Indian students to the UK.

Lord Karan Bilimoria addressing students at the INSA UK welcome reception. Photo: The PIE News

“Any problems that are yours, they’re our problems as well” – Mehta

Organised by the Indian National Students Association, which has factions in over 40 universities across the UK, over 100 students attended the reception where they were welcomed to the UK and prepped for the years ahead by industry leaders.

“You are going to be the living bridge between the UK and India,” Lord Bilimoria told the students at the reception.

“The UK is the sixth largest economy in the world – India is the fifth largest economy in the world. The Indian Express has left the station and my prediction is that by 2060, India will be the biggest economy in the world.

“You have an amazing headstart of being in this country, being Indian, and also still having a foot in India as well. That is going to be very, very powerful going forward,” he said.

Bilimoria reminded students that while the UK has had “quite a negative reputation” in mainstream media in recent months, that shouldn’t be what they focus on.

“I’m not exaggerating. [The UK is] the sixth largest economy in the world in services, has the best accountants, best lawyers, best advertising agencies, and music – [it’s] the best in movies, Oscars, films, TV, and most importantly, two of the [top three] universities in the world.”

“World leaders [are] produced by studying over here, and you have that opportunity. So go for it – make the most of it,” he told the students.

Another guest was Lord Rami Ranger, a successful businessman originally born in Pakistan, whose family fled to Indian Punjab under the Partition of India. He subsequently went on to found his own business and was given a life peerage by former UK prime minister Theresa May.

“Diversity is a strength and you are all diverse people… we have brought so much to this country we have not come empty handed,” he reminded students.

“You have an amazing headstart of being in this country [and] being Indian”

“The values we brought to this country have made this country what it is today,” he added.

Bobby Mehta, the vice-chancellor for global engagement at the University of Portsmouth and a stalwart of the sector, offered the students a helping hand as they began to navigate their journeys in the UK.

“Any problems that you’re having, reach out to your university, speak to your lecturers… go to the international office, because it’s not just about getting you here, it’s to make sure that once you’re studying in the UK you can make the most of those opportunities, and any problems that are yours, they’re our problems as well,” he said.

Following the reception, the students were invited to a boat party on the Thames, organised by INSA.

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