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Scottish universities target emerging nations

Scottish universities have embarked on a new campaign to target student markets and potential research collaborations in emerging nations.

The Scottish Government-backed project will see Scotland’s higher education sector promoted in countries including Brazil, China, Malaysia, Mexico and Colombia.

The campaign – named Connected Scotland - follows recent findings by British Council Scotland showing that Scottish Universities were not seen to have a distinctive identity overseas.

The project aims to increase the Scottish higher education sector's export revenue by more than 50 per cent in six years.

The sector's annual exports came to £1.3 billion in 2011/12 - 60 per cent of which was from outside the UK.

But while the project aims to allow institutions to work together to have maximum impact overseas, individual universities will still be able to compete with each other for students, research money and academics.

The partnership will involve Scotland's universities, enterprise companies, the Scottish Government, British Council Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council.

Michael Russell, the Education Secretary, said: "Scotland's higher education institutes are already internationally recognised and they are increasingly collaborating to harness global opportunities and to promote our exceptional higher education assets overseas.

"Connected Scotland will enhance the internationalisation of Scottish higher education and connect us to new opportunities around the world."

Lloyd Anderson, Director of British Council Scotland, said: "Connected Scotland is an important initiative that will benefit Scotland through enhanced exchange of knowledge, ideas and people, leading to stronger and better international connections."