London & Partners was established by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson (who is currently on a business trip to India), on April 1, 2011, to promote London overseas as the best city to in the world to invest in, visit and study.
Kevin McCarthy, currently head, Study London, London & Partners, helped set up the Study London promotional campaign in 2002 to promote London overseas as the world’s number one study destination. Originally located within London Higher, the umbrella organisation for London’s 42 universities and higher education colleges, the project moved to London & Partners in October 2011. Prior to establishing Study London, Kevin McCarthy worked at a number of higher education institutions including London Business School, Goldsmiths University of London, London South Bank University, Queen Mary University of London and the London School of Economics. In an interaction with Vikram Chaudhary of The Financial Express, McCarthy shares his thoughts on the recently-launched Student Ambassadors programme and how studying in London can make a difference to a student’s life. Excerpts:
What, in your view, does London offer to an Indian student as far as study exposure and quality of life is concerned?
With students from over 200 countries, London’s student population replicates London’s overall diversity. And it’s the diversity of the city which makes London unique. Students here generally establish a global network of friends and future business contacts that they keep with themselves throughout their career—this learning is priceless.
What was the reason behind choosing student ambassadors for London? And why students only from India and the US?
We’ve been told by international students that one of the things that they most enjoy about studying in London is meeting other students from their own country as well as from different countries. We set up the Student Ambassadors programme to allow students to experience London in an exciting and unique way but to also allow them to meet with students from different universities in London. Indian and US students were chosen because they form two of the most popular nationalities within London’s student body.
Traditionally, which schools/universities in London have strong Indian students’ presence?
Almost all. In fact, London universities’ links with India go back many years. We commemorated Mahatma Gandhi with a statue in Tavistock Square in central London because he studied law in London in the 1880s. We also commemorated Rabindranath Tagore who studied in London in the 1870s. Apart from various leaders, we