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Dr. Bali of Staffordshire University UK speaks about Brexit and more

The following interview with Dr. Sita Bali, the Academic Group Leader, Staffordshire University, UK, gives a clear insight into Staffordshire University and its myriad opportunities.

Written by: Interview with Dr. Sita Bali, the Academic Group Leader: History, International Relations, English, Sociology and International Studies at the School of Journalism, Humanities and Social Sciences at Staffordshire University (UK)

CI: In context with the recent EU referendum, David Cameron says, "Curbing the number of new arrivals to the UK is the only way Europe can continue strong trade links with the world's fifth-largest economy". What is your take on this?

Dr Bali: Cameron is responding to the high levels of immigration currently happening in the UK (in the year to May there was 330,000 net migration), as well as to the popular disquiet with such high levels. The problem for Cameron and the UK is that being in the EU free trade zone(being part of the EU tariff free market) and free movement of people go hand in hand. So far, no country has been able to enjoy free trade without accepting free movement.

It is precisely this question that will need to be settled as Britain negotiates its way out of the EU post the referendum. Given that it is unlikely (in the absence of similar feeling being expressed by a number of other countries) that Britain will get a free trade deal while not allowing free movement of people, the country is likely to prioritize stopping free movement over the desire to maintain tariff free trade. That would also reflect the will of the people as expressed in the referendum.

CI: How do you think Brexit will affect the relationship of India with the EU?

Dr Bali: The effect of Brexit will be mainly felt by Indian companies who have made deep investments in Britain because they saw it as a route into the European market. So companies like Jaguar Land Rover may have to rethink future investment plans in the UK.

Also, inasmuch as UK helped commonwealth countries like India within the context of the EU, that help, social, economic, political and cultural will no longer be forthcoming. But India should not have too much difficulty maintaining a good relationship with the EU without Britain, and with Britain independently. There are significant mutual interests on all sides to ensure this happens.

CI: Will Brexit from the EU affect higher education opportunities for Indian students?

Dr Bali: No, except in the sense that Brexit affects the British University system, making it less collaborative on research with EU, and having less European students coming into it and the possible end of exchange schemes with European Universities like the Erasmus scheme. However, I am sure a new version of Erasmus will arise, as students from Europe will continue to want to study in Britain, as will British students want to do so in Europe, as part of their degree courses.

An Interview with Dr Bali of Staffordshire Univ

CI: The online programmes provided are interesting, however, on taking up these online courses, where can a candidate be hired?

Dr Bali: Many of our distance learning students have taken up jobs in International Organizations and companies and in the governments and armed services of their own countries. Many have jobs in such institutions when they commence study with us, and use the degrees as professional development and career enhancement opportunities, achieving jobs, transfers or promotions as a result of their study.

Several students have gone on to PhD programmes in other Universities and have also, in the case of international History students taken up high school teaching. International institutions have no difficulty recognizing distance learning study as a legitimate form of study and treat the degrees thus achieved as they would treat any other degrees. Indian employers also need to recognize such qualifications, if they do not do so already.

CI: What are the job opportunities if a student does this course?

Dr Bali: BA in Crime, Terrorism and Deviance enables an individual to have critical understanding of crime, terrorism and deviance at both national and international levels and the key issues raised by them. Hence an individual pursuing this programme will be well prepared for a diverse range of thrilling careers, especially those associated with the police, probation and community/social work.

Individuals could work with young or adult offenders, drug users or homeless people. They can also enter professions such as teaching, the police, the criminal justice system, the probation service or social services. It also opens options for further postgraduate study.

CI: Provide us brief details about the online PGT programmes and the UG course - BA in Crime, Terrorism and Deviance.

Dr Bali: Our University offers a huge array of online PGT courses. Some of the relevant ones are described below:

MA International Policy and Diplomacy - This three year part time course by the School of Journalism, Humanities and Social Sciences focuses on key issues associated with the way countries of the world survive and co-exist, especially in this era of rapid global changes. Globalization has increased the importance of global governance and policy making and its implementation in a wide range of universal and regional organizations, as well as between states.

This course focuses on diplomacy in its complex and wide-range for the purpose of official communication and in the context of the many types of intergovernmental organizations and their links with a growing transnational environment of international non-governmental organizations.

MA International Relations- This three year distance learning course focuses on key issues associated with the way countries of the world co-exist in the face of rapid change. The 20th Century underwent innumerable changes in terms of world wars, cold wars, technological changes, changes in the field of communications, trade and culture. It witnessed the mass movement of people and the growth of global economic networks.

Thus this course also studies the causes due to which these changes occurred as well as the events that shaped the current society. This courses also focuses on the theoretical tools available to scholars of International Relations, to help them understand and explain the way the world works today.

MA International History-This three year distance programme aims to provide a deep insight into historical developments in the twentieth and emerging twenty-first centuries at an international level. It offers a global outlook on relationships between and amongst states over time and the events that occurred in their midst, as well as ways of combining national or regional approaches with respect to world history.

MA Terrorism, Crime and Global Security -This three year distance learning course provides students with the opportunity to have a deep insight, understanding and advanced study on terrorism, transnational crime and global security as well as the current problems associated with them.

MA Transnational Organized Crime-This three year part time course gives awareness about rapidly changing current issues such as drug trafficking, terrorism, human trafficking, illegal arms trading and financial crime that are major areas of concern for politicians and policy makers. It has also become an important area of research. This course allows learners to study the growth of global anxiety arising as a result of these issues and its new global forms. It enables them to study this phenomenon, its emergence, development and history at a global level, its typical forms, law enforcement responses and the way in which these crimes are represented by news and broadcasting media.

BA in Crime, Terrorism and Deviance -This three year full time course enables an individual to have a deep understanding of crime, terrorism and deviance at both national and international levels, especially in context of current day society. Apart from that a student also gains knowledge about the key issues raised by these concepts, explores the relationship between them and the manner in which government and the judicial system respond to them.

CI: Who can apply for the above programmes? What are the basic requirements?

Dr Bali: For the BA in Crime, Terrorism and Deviance programme the entry requirements are good results (preferably first class) in class 12th.
For enrolling into the above mentioned MA programmes, applicants require a good undergraduate degree preferably in a cognate discipline. Language requirements include at least IELTS 6-6.5 or equivalent.

CI: Give us a brief description about the scholarship for meritorious students.

Dr Bali: Staffordshire University has an extensive scholarship scheme which covers both undergraduate and postgraduate taught international tuition fee-payers.

In March 2015 the University introduced a competitive scholarship package of which Indian students can avail. Scholarships offered by Staffordshire University are merit scholarships and as such there is no separate application for the scholarships; students are automatically considered for a scholarship once they apply to Staffordshire. The available scholarships are as follows:

Undergraduate Entry Scholarship: As long as students meet the published entry criteria they will receive a £1,000 scholarship for the first year of study.

Undergraduate Progression Scholarship: For each subsequent year a student studies at Staffordshire University they will receive a scholarship based on their end-of-year grades:

First Class: £2,000
Upper Second: £1,500
Lower Second: £1,000

Once a student holds an unconditional offer to study at Staffordshire University and has paid the tuition fee deposit of £3,500, the University will issue a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) which the student will use to make their visa application. Staffordshire University employs an India Desk Officer, based in Mumbai, who is able to help students through the visa application process.

CI: Do tell us about your current research projects?

Dr Bali: My research interests lie in a wide spectrum of topics, focusing particularly on the politics of South Asia especially that of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The politics of international migration, refugee movements and its consequences, as well as security studies particularly in the area of migration and security also interest me.

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