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Over the summer, I was privileged to visit G D Goenka World Institute. I was impressed at the quality of education, the high standard of facilities and the students’ impressive approach to teaching and learning. There is no denying that the campus is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain a degree in the Delhi region of India and that Lancaster University have played a vastly important role in this.
In the past week, it has been confirmed that Lancaster will collaborate with Guangdong University of Foreign Studies to set up a new campus in China. To be the first university in the world to have campuses based in both India and China will be a highly credible achievement for a university that has witnessed such a phenomenal rise up the league tables in recent years.
But the rise in the league tables has taken place on domestic ground. Lancaster’s Bailrigg campus is the heart of Lancaster University and where the whole story began. It would be wrong if we were to plough all our resources and efforts in to universities based on foreign soil, and forget about the campus we have here, in the countryside setting of Lancashire.
There is no denying that international campuses and relationships will only be good for our reputation. Plus, campuses in other countries allows for more opportunity to study abroad which will help increase students’ employability.
But we can not let our standards slip by focusing our attention too heavily on the other side of the water.
Sending academics on secondments is all well and good as long as the teaching on our Bailrigg campus remains at the same high standard that has led to our Top 10 position in the first place.
G D Goenka World Institute is a fantastic establishment and if all goes well with plans for China, Lancaster will again be involved in a development that has huge potential to influence the lives of thousands of young people in a country experiencing an economic rise.
However, we should never forget the roots of Lancaster University. The University’s Management should always lead by example from their Bailrigg campus and allow developments in other countries to follow suit.