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IITs Plan to Go Global

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A proposal has been made to quadruple the number of international students across Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) at the fourth All IITs International Relations Conclave conducted at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN). The proposals seeks to quadruple international students up to 5 per cent with targeted scholarships and creating international IIT centres in neighbouring countries “to bolster recruitment of international students at the country’s premier educational institutions.”

“The proposed centres in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, which send the largest number of students to India, would serve to leverage the IIT brand to expand their reach to attract the brightest students from the region to the IITs. Internationalisation is a major focus under the New Education Policy, for expanding the educational experience of Indian students, and for enhancing the international stature and global university rankings of Indian educational institutions,” reads the official statement.

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The conclave proposed creating 1,000 international student scholarships annually with the aim of substantially internationalising the campuses of the 23 IITs in the country. The scholarships aim to quadruple the international student pool in the IIT system to 5 percent from just 1 percent of the student population presently. It will enable the IITs to retain international students who were admitted to the IITs, but could join because of the lack of financial support.

The conclave also proposed developing 200 overseas experience fellowships for IIT undergraduate students to pursue internships of 6-8 weeks at university or corporate labs abroad, as well as 100 PhD study abroad fellowships for IIT PhD students to spend a semester at some of the world’s leading universities for coursework, lab experience or research.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the two-day conclave, held from September 30 to October 1, Prof Amit Prashant, Officiating Director, IITGN said, “IIT alumni are among the most visible and globalised of any educational institution in the world and the IIT educational brand is reputed worldwide. IITians today lead some of the world’s most iconic companies and these international centres would serve to raise the profile of the IITs in the region, contribute to significantly strengthening international student recruitment at the IITs and fostering international academic and research collaborations.”

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