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University of Birmingham and IIT Madras create Zanzibar student exchanges

hands in the middle

Students are set to benefit from a new exchange programme between the University of Birmingham’s UK and Dubai campuses and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) Zanzibar Campus – the first IIT located outside India.

The partnership will allow outstanding scholars – whether undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral students – to do coursework and research at both University of Birmingham campuses during their studies at the Zanzibar campus.

There will also be Study Abroad opportunities for Zanzibar-based undergraduate students to spend up to a year at the University of Birmingham – gaining coursework credits that will count towards gaining their IIT Madras degree.

Representatives from the universities signed the agreement in a special ceremony in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan, Honourable Union and Minister of Education, Dr Subhash Sarkar, Honourable Minister of State, and other senior officials from the Government of India’s Ministry of Education.

The agreement follows the universities’ founding of a Joint Masters programme in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, which has just welcomed the first cohort of students earlier this week, to Chennai. 

Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Birmingham, commented:

“Together with our new Joint Masters programme, this exciting new student exchange opportunity illustrates how the relationship between IIT Madras and the University of Birmingham is fast developing.

“We look forward to welcoming students from the new IIT Madras Zanzibar Campus to our beautiful, leafy Birmingham campus and our iconic Dubai facilities as more education and research collaborations emerge as our two universities work ever closer together.”

IITM Zanzibar opens its doors in October 2023 with a first cohort of 50 undergraduate students and 20 Master’s students. In the first year, the institution will offer data science and artificial intelligence courses.

The institute will operate out of a temporary campus in Bweleo district of Zanzibar, while the permanent campus spread over 200 acres will be located in Zanzibar Island and be ready by 2026.

Professor Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Dean (Global Engagement), IIT Madras, commented:

“We are thrilled with our comprehensive relationship with University of Birmingham, which is multifaceted, covering many academic programs and larger research engagements.”

Professor Preeti Aghalayam, Advisor, Global Academic Programs, IIT Madras will become director-in-charge for IIT Madras in Zanzibar – the first ever woman to be an IIT director. She commented:

“The support from the University of Birmingham, as we take this ambitious step with an international campus, is truly heart-warming. We are excited by the opportunities this partnership opens for our students.”

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