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'A big opportunity for engineering aspirants': Indian students excited about IIT campus in UAE

IIT’s establishment in the UAE is a part of the India-UAE trade deal signed on February 18



Photo: Indian Institutes of Technology/Facebook
Photo: Indian Institutes of Technology/Facebook
by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Mon 21 Feb 2022, 4:58 PM

Aspiring engineering students and parents in the UAE have lauded India's decision to set up the first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the UAE.

While Indian media have speculated that the first IIT campus outside of India will be established in Dubai, the exact location and other specifications are yet to be revealed.

In an address to delegates and media ahead of the ongoing Festival of Ideas, Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to the UAE, said: “Building on our historical education links, our leaders have decided to establish an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the UAE. Hope more such institutions of excellence can come to the UAE in the future."

IIT’s establishment in the UAE is a part of the India-UAE trade deal signed on February 18. The Indian community and IIT aspirants in the country are jubilant after hearing the news.

Anuradha Chakraborty, an Indian expat in Dubai, said: "My daughter Aoishi is in Grade 12 already and the institute will obviously not open by the time she finishes school. But at least she can come back to the UAE and pursue her post-graduation here.

"She had applied through UCAS and has already got an offer letter from the City, University of London, whose world ranking is pretty good. But after she completes her bachelor's there, she can come back to us and pursue her master’s degree programme here.”

Chakraborty said she hopes the IIT in the UAE is on par with the ones in India in terms of the quality of academics and faculty.

"After all, IIT is such a coveted institute," she said. "It's a big opportunity for engineering aspirants. They can stay close to their parents while pursuing their dream courses. This is a promising decision that unleashes a new era of academic opportunities with India.”

Presently, there are 23 IITs in several regions across India offering undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate-level programmes.

Mohammed Ismail, a Sharjah resident, said his 17-year-old son aspires to be an engineer but wishes to pursue his higher education in the West.

"I sometimes feel children who grow up outside India do not understand the real value of such a coveted institute. They feel more drawn towards the West due to the exposure that the universities there, bring to the present generation," Ismail said.

“I tried convincing him to sit for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) but unfortunately, I didn’t quite manage to do it. Now, with a premiere institute like the IIT opening its campus here, not just Indian students but even other expats in the UAE will be able to learn about the value of such a top-class engineering institute."

Ismail pointed out the several successful CEOs from around the world are IIT graduates. "An IIT in the UAE would mean world-class education with international exposure for students. This would be a perfect combination."

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Some of the top IITs in India are IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur and IIT Madras. The institutes are renowned for their BTech and MTech degree programmes.

Amatullah Arsiwala, a Year 8 student at Al Diyafah High School, said: "I am so excited to learn that the UAE will now be home to IIT. Engineering is a tricky stream, and nothing better than IIT to be a part of this mainstream career.

"While I am still deciding on my subjects to pursue in further grades, if I choose to do engineering, IIT will certainly be my first choice. I look forward to having the engineering giants in the country soon. I am glad the two countries are collaborating on the educational and intellectual front.”

With inputs from Dhanusha Gokulan


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