Staffordshire University has entered into a new Education and Community partnership with a football club almost 5000 miles away.

The unique partnership with Odisha FC on India’s East Coast builds on relationships the University has forged closer to home with Stoke City FC and Port Vale FC and which have resulted in new courses, opportunities for students to gain work experience and community initiatives which engage with the fanbase.

Odisha FC began life in the Indian Super League but started a new chapter after signing an historic agreement with the government of Odisha. They have a vision of producing India’s future footballing stars and believe in nurturing young talent. Recently the Club introduced the ground-breaking Global Football Alliance, which enables them and the state of Odisha to reach out to communities around the world.

As Odisha FC’s Education and Community partner, Staffordshire University will look to work in collaboration with the state of Odisha, its colleges and universities to provide webinars and virtual learning which fits with its higher education course offer. The partnership will also work to develop student and staff exchange programmes, new education pathways and community and grassroots programmes.

Odisha FC President, Mr Raj Athwal said: “Staffordshire University has a strong reputation in the UK for providing a high-quality, industry-focused education to students, who come from all over the UK, and overseas. Besides helping Odisha students, this partnership is sure to have a positive impact on the lives of people throughout the state, as well as India, providing a variety of learning opportunities.”

Welcoming the new partnership, Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Designate, Professor Martin Jones said: “India has always been an important market for us and we have had some excellent students come and study with us over the years. We have hosted elite students through the GREAT scholarship scheme in partnership with the British Council, and the relationship with Odisha FC is another example of how we want to work closely in India with key partners to provide opportunities for students and staff in both organisations.”

“We hope it will be a true partnership in every sense of the word, and that opportunities are developed throughout the duration of the partnership which have meaningful impact for Odisha and Staffordshire University. We share similar values in relation to social impact and widening participation and this partnership opens opportunities for true global connections to be forged.”

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