Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

UK and Pakistan to share degree

Lahore street scene
Students in Lahore will share a course with Lancaster

Lancaster University is claiming to be the first university in the UK to set up a degree programme shared with a public university in Pakistan.

The university will offer dual degrees with Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) in Lahore.

Courses will be for students in business administration, computer science and electrical engineering.

It will allow students in Pakistan to gain the international qualifications without the cost of studying in the UK.

After four years' study at the Lahore campus of CIIT, students will be awarded with degrees from both Lancaster University and CIIT.

Lancaster University has overall responsibility to approve the curriculum, the content of the degree programmes and the quality assurance of the course delivery.

India and Malaysia

Pakistan's minister of science and technology, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, will be launching the joint scheme at an event in London next month.

The dual degree programme is Lancaster's latest overseas venture.

It has already launched a campus in India with the GD Goenka Educational Trust. The campus admitted its first cohort of 300 students in August 2009.

And it has a partnership with Sunway University College in Malaysia.

As funding for the UK's universities becomes tighter, institutions are increasingly looking abroad to raise extra funds.

The expansion of UK universities overseas has included the setting up of campuses - such as the University of Nottingham's campus in Ningbo in China.

The higher education minister, David Lammy, in an article on Monday, urged universities to boost their incomes by tapping into the market for international students.

"While I hope to see students from other countries continuing to choose Britain as a place to study, I also see an increasing role for our universities forming partnerships with institutions abroad," wrote Mr Lammy.

"We may well see more British universities opening campuses in other countries, as some have already done."

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