IIT Madras launches first international campus in Zanzibar, Tanzania

IIT Madras launches first international campus in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Hummingbird News Desk

CHENNAI, 10 JULY: IIT Madras, the premier educational institute in India, has achieved a significant milestone by establishing its first international campus in Zanzibar, Tanzania. In a historic move, an MoU was signed between India and Tanzania, marking the final step in the process of launching the Zanzibar Campus.

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The Zanzibar Campus of IIT Madras, located on Zanzibar Island off the East African mainland, aims to create a transformative educational partnership between India and Tanzania. Initially, faculty members will be deputed from IIT Madras or recruited from India, but efforts are already underway to develop and employ local talent as faculty. The Government of India is also offering numerous scholarships to citizens of Tanzania and Zanzibar for studying various degree programs at IIT Madras in Chennai, starting from July 2023.

During a press conference, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras, expressed his enthusiasm for this major achievement, stating that the establishment of the Zanzibar Campus is a significant milestone in the history of the institute. He emphasized IIT Madras’s commitment to actively participating in future higher education initiatives in Zanzibar.

The first academic year at the Zanzibar Campus is scheduled to commence in October 2023, offering two full-time academic programs: a four-year Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, and a two-year Master of Technology in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. The initial student intake will be 70, and applications for the 2023 batch are currently open.

Prof. Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Dean of Global Engagement at IIT Madras, described the establishment of the Zanzibar Campus as a significant step forward in the institute’s internationalization efforts. He outlined a strategic plan focused on increasing the number of international students, fostering joint degree programs with international academic institutions, and enhancing faculty and student mobility.

Under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the Indian government encourages the expansion of Indian higher education beyond the country’s borders. Following strong interest and excitement from the Tanzanian government, the Ministry of Education, Government of India, and the corresponding ministry in the Government of Tanzania established a partnership that led to the launch of the first international campus of an IIT in Zanzibar.

Prof. Preeti Aghalayam, Dean of the School of Science & Engineering and Director-in-charge of the Zanzibar Campus, highlighted the positive impact this international campus would have. She expressed pride in bringing IIT Madras’s education and research strengths to East Africa and described the campus as being planned in a manner similar to the main campus in Madras, with state-of-the-art facilities and natural surroundings.

The entrance process for students at the Zanzibar Campus will be coordinated by the Office of Global Engagement at IIT Madras. It will include a screening test developed by faculty experts and an interview, following the approved admission process for international students.

While the Zanzibar Campus is currently based in a temporary location in the Bweleo district, a permanent location spanning over 200 acres is being developed in an up-and-coming area of Zanzibar Island. The master plan for the permanent campus is being designed by experts from IIT Madras.

The launch of the IIT Madras Zanzibar Campus is expected to provide a unique and game-changing educational partnership between India and Tanzania, with a focus on data science and artificial intelligence. This initiative aligns with the popularity of these courses at IIT Madras and the growing importance of the field in Tanzania. With strong support from the local government, the IITM Zanzibar Campus aims to become a distinguished international campus and contribute significantly to education and research in East Africa.

Image: Faculty accomodation at Zanzibar campus

Tags: #IITMadras #InternationalCampus #Zanzibar #Tanzania

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