The INSPIRE (International Strategic Partnership in Research and Education) started in 2008 to design a programme to strengthen significantly the relationship’ between countries in South Asia and the UK through making a transformational increase in the number and scope of partnerships between UK universities and universities in the priority countries in the region.


  • the value of making collaboration in research- the main focus for international partnership programmes
  • the programme attracted a wide cross-section of UK universities to participate, including a high proportion of Russell Group institutions
  • the programme also attracted some of the best and the brightest academics from the top Bangladeshi universities, the academics can see the impact of their work on individuals, institutions and society
  • the enhancement of the prospects for securing additional national and international research funding

Engagement in the UK

Universities as partners for exchange of knowledge and collaboration 

Feedback from the UK Project leads has demonstrated the value of the programme to the UK which the Impact Assessment Reports have highlighted on 3 different aspects: 

(a) the access provided to indigenous research data and indigenous researchers; 

(b) the recruitment and funding of high-quality research students; 

(c) the sense of worth that comes from working on projects with immediate social returns.

Engagement in Bangladesh

  • Policy makers and academic practitioners 
  • Universities, UGC and Ministry of Education 
  • Students

The project so far 

INSPIRE has so far been a major success in terms of achieving most of the goals that were set out in the Programme Commissioning Document and by 2017 all of its project activities will be on track. At the strategic level, 23 projects and 14 sustained partnerships will lead to a transformational increase in the number of HE institutional partnerships between the UK and Bangladesh and have laid a solid foundation for the development of a much closer partnership in the future between the sector bodies.

It is clear from the evidence that follows of the impact of the INSPIRE programme on individuals, institutions, the higher education sector and society more generally that the programme has been a major success.

To know further on INSPIRE's journey so far, follow the evaluation brochure from the downloads option below.