UCL Global


Sustainable Development Virtual Programme with TISS, Mumbai

31 March 2021

A group of UCL undergraduate students embarked on a virtual programme hosted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai

screenshot of students on Zoom for the TISS programme

Over February reading week, the programme funded by UK India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI) provided students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds the opportunity to learn about sustainable development through the lens of Mumbai.

The students engaged in a range of online sessions delivered by TISS academics as well as Mumbai-based field agencies. Covering topics such as development and displacement, climate change and development, and urbanisation, water and sustainability, the programme gave participants a grounding in sustainable development and an insight into some of the challenges that Mumbai faces.

Watch the video below for highlights from the Sustainable Development Virtual Programme:

MediaCentral Widget Placeholderhttps://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Player/bg0ebDEH

Guest lectures were provided by Professor David Osrin and Dr Priti Parikh from UCL who focused on sustainable development and inequalities, and the role of infrastructure in addressing SDGs respectively. The sessions were also open to students from the TISS community. Three UCL alumni also generously volunteered their time to offer their own unique perspectives on wider related issues, drawing on their own experiences of sustainability, urban design and corporate social responsibility.

Students worked in interdisciplinary teams to discuss the topics covered each day and to explore the themes more deeply. The conversations were facilitated by postgraduate coordinators from TISS who supported the teams, provided further knowledge of the subject area as well as local insight and perspective, which was particularly useful for students learning about Mumbai from afar. 

To conclude the programme, the teams delivered presentations which brought together their new knowledge and understanding of sustainable development, as well as their own disciplinary expertise, to consider one specific SDG from the Mumbai perspective, with proposals of how that might be tackled locally. The presentations included educational campaigns/policies for girls in Mumbai, plastic pollution in Mumbai and creative projects as a means to engage people in their own development.

Professor Monica Lakhanpaul, Pro-Vice-Provost for South Asia, said of the presentations and programme more broadly:

“It was a privilege to listen to the outstanding presentations by the UCL students. I was delighted to see how the students came together in their interdisciplinary teams, working with colleagues and students from TISS, to address important Sustainable Development Goals, all within the week-long programme. It was truly an exemplar of how to learn together on global issues and hear the perspective from the local community." 

Of the UCL-TISS collaboration, Dr Amit Khandelwal from the UCL Global Engagement Office added: 

“Underpinned by the work of the Study Abroad team, the Global Engagement Office and our counterparts from TISS, we hope the programme sets the tone for similar initiatives and programmes for our students to undertake in the future. Through the programme, we have also enhanced our institutional relationship with TISS, and we look forward to further future collaboration.”

On the TISS side, Professor Madhushree Sekhar concluded: 

“We at the Office for International Affairs at TISS had a great time working with the UCL in designing and conducting this programme. We were delighted to host this group of keen students from variety of study backgrounds. Their enthusiasm and interest to learn was impressive. The outstanding student presentations at the end of the week was testimony of a very productive interaction between the students, coordinators and faculties over the week. Overall, the outcome of the programme is very encouraging for future collaboration between UCL and TISS and we look forward to conducting more innovative programmes in future.”

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