Academics from the University of Wolverhampton visited India recently to promote its Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies and discuss potential collaboration with education providers.
Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor at the University, and Dr Opinderjit Kaur Takhar MBE, Director at the University’s Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies, visited Amritsar, Patiala, Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar in the Panjab region.
The Centre is the first of its kind in the UK and was launched in 2018, offering PhDs and Master’s level courses in Sikh studies as well as continuing professional development (CPD) courses for teachers and managers
Meetings took place with academics from various universities included the Guru Nanak Dev University, Khalsa College Amritsar, Punjabi University Patiala, Panjab University Chandigarh, Gujranwala Khalsa College Ludhiana and Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College University of Delhi.
Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “The Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies is the first of its kind in the UK. My vision for the centre is to make it into a significant research centre of international repute as well as encouraging interfaith dialogue and helping to strengthen Anglo-Sikh and Anglo-Indian relations.
“It has been a real pleasure linking up with various institutions with a view to collaborating on a number of programmes we could undertake jointly. The overarching vision of the Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies is to position itself as an internationally recognised hub which acts as a centre of excellence for matters relating to the Sikh and Panjabi community in the UK.”
Dr Opinderjit Kaur Takhar said: “Britain has one of the largest Sikh populations and a bulk of that is concentrated in the West Midlands. As the presence of Sikhs across the globe grows, there are new challenges on the horizon such as informing the world about Sikh identity and grappling with the age-old question of what is the definition of a Sikh.
“We thank all the institutions, organisations and individuals who warmly welcomed us to the Panjab during our visit to discuss collaboration with the Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies. We were truly humbled by the hospitality shown to us and hope that this is the start of a number of collaborative projects in the future.”
The Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies has a number of public events planned throughout 2019, as well as an International Sikh Studies Conference in September to mark the 550th Gurpurab of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Anyone interested in getting involved with the new Centre should contact Dr Takhar by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.