Very soon, IIT- Madras might start offering joint collaborative degrees with reputed educational institutions abroad, including universities in Berkeley, Purdue, California, Chicago and Maryland.

More students, from undergraduate, postgraduate and research streams, will get to go abroad from next year, as per a new road map devised by the institute to improve its international relations.

The institute, which was globally ranked 69th among technical institutes, plans to surge ahead to a position at least among the first 30 in the next few years. “We are focussing on improving our international relations, including the exchange of teachers and students,” said R. Nagarajan, who recently assumed charge as dean, international and alumni relations at IIT – Madras.

The dean and director Bhaskar Ramamurthy had visited universities in 20 cities abroad a few months ago, to initiate new collaborations with universities and leverage relations with the institute’s alumni settled abroad.

IIT- Madras has initiated a survey to receive faculty members’ views on the universities to initiate collaborations with. “Nearly 140 teachers have responded to it. Till now, all MoUs were initiated by professors but we want to have a proper system in place,” Mr. Nagarajan said.

As of now, nearly 20 undergraduate students go to Singapore and Germany to pursue one semester. “It gets a little difficult with the US because their semesters are scheduled differently,” said Prof. Nagarajan.

“We have around 1,600 PhD scholars on campus. We hope to send at least ten per cent of them abroad, for three to six months. The number is around 100 when it comes to research scholars and postgraduate students. With UG students, we tend to be more careful to make sure they get quality exposure in the right institutions,” he added.

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