Indian Institutes of Technology look to open Middle East campuses

The overseas colleges will offer four-year undergraduate courses


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Published: Thu 3 Feb 2022, 7:41 AM

Last updated: Thu 3 Feb 2022, 6:25 PM

A 16-member committee comprising directors of seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and vice-chancellors of four central universities has been set up by the Indian government to prepare a roadmap for allowing overseas campuses of these varsities, including in the Gulf and the Middle East.

The Centre has formed a 16-member committee comprising directors of seven IITs and vice-chancellors of four central universities to prepare a roadmap on the demand “from various quarters” to allow overseas campuses” of Indian universities.

Headed by Dr K Radhakrishnan, chairman, IIT Council Standing Committee, it will submit a framework for opening campuses abroad by March 17, according to media reports.

IIT Delhi has been keen on opening centres in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. It had proposed setting up overseas campuses where it would offer four-year undergraduate courses and take up to 240 students based on SAT tests. The 100-acre campuses are to come up near major cities.

According to education ministry officials, the committee has discussed whether IITs should collectively start a campus abroad, or should each institute be allowed to do so and compete internationally.


Besides IITs, the committee would also consider plans by other top central universities. About 60 per cent of the faculty of the campuses set up abroad would be from the specific country, but the teachers would have to spend a semester every three years in India.

A draft proposal before the committee looks at setting up the Saudi Arabian campus as a for-profit entity. “This would have the advantage of attracting potential investors who could provide the capital needed to set up the campus,” said the proposal. “However, IIT Delhi has no experience in working with such a model and while it might be willing to explore the possibility this would not be its priority.”

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