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Two prominent academics from Heriot-Watt University will join the Deputy First Minister John Swinney, on an official trip to India this week.

Professor Richard A Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor and Ruth Moir, Assistant Principal of International Development are part of a delegation of higher education leaders and officials from the Scottish Government, Scottish Development International and the British Council.

The visit between 2 and 5 December will seek to promote trade and investment between Scotland and India in the priority areas of education, skills, energy and water.

India is the fastest growing major economy in the world, with exports worth around £215 million to the Scottish economy. The country is Scotland’s fifth-biggest international market for further and higher education students.

The programme has been organised in partnership with Scottish Development International, Universities Scotland, the British Council and Visit Scotland.

Scottish universities are celebrating their long-standing connections with India in this visit and are united in their warm welcome to students, universities and business partners.

Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Convener of Universities Scotland’s International Committee

A series of meetings will take place in Mumbai and Delhi with business leaders and representatives from the Indian Government.

The group will also have the opportunity to view a number of projects that demonstrate the ways in which Scotland’s further and higher education institutions are collaborating with Indian institutions.

The trip will conclude with an official reception at the British High Commission to celebrate St Andrew’s Day and artistic collaboration between Scotland and India during the UK India Year of Culture.

Currently, Heriot-Watt currently has 369 students of Indian domicile and there are approximately 150 Scholarships available to Indian students across campuses in Scotland, Dubai and Malaysia.

Speaking ahead of the visit, John Swinney said: "Working with the delegation from Scotland’s universities, we also hope to showcase the strengths of our higher education sector, the opportunities for Indian students to study here and some of the excellent academic partnerships that exist between the two countries.”

Professor Richard A. Williams added: "Our internationally recognised excellence in pioneering education and research is especially relevant as India and UK adopt new medical and energy technologies and policies underpinned by our modern digital lifestyles. To mark the visit, we are also pleased to present a wide range of scholarships opportunities for students. Scotland’s universities are passionate about our partnership with India."

2017 is the UK India Year of Culture and the 70th anniversary of Indian independence.

For more information about the mission in India, visit studyinscotland.org or #ScotlandwelcomesIndia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.