'Immense joy to parents': UAE expats excited as IIT campus to open soon in Abu Dhabi

Residents see a ray of hope to keep children closeby, while giving them great opportunities


Nasreen Abdulla

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Illustrative Purpose
Illustrative Purpose

Published: Sun 16 Jul 2023, 5:16 PM

Education experts and expat families in the UAE have welcomed the opening of the new Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the country with many saying the move will give Indian students great opportunities.

Ketki Thakar, whose daughter Kirti topped Grade 10 this year in the UAE with 99.6%, said she was “absolutely excited” to hear that IIT-Delhi was opening in the country. “My daughter wants to pursue engineering and we were looking for universities in the Middle East,” she said. “As a family we are very attached to each other and want to stay together. So, when we heard that IIT-Delhi is opening in Abu Dhabi, we were absolutely excited. The classes are scheduled to start in 2024, which is perfect timing for my daughter.”

Ketki with her husband Roshankumar, and her daughter Kirti and Maitri
Ketki with her husband Roshankumar, and her daughter Kirti and Maitri

On Sunday, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek), India’s Ministry of Education and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-Delhi) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the first international campus of IIT-Delhi in Abu Dhabi.

The IIT-Delhi Abu Dhabi campus is set to launch its academic programs in January 2024 with several bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. programs. The university will also operate research centres related to sustainable energy and climate studies, as well as computing and data sciences.

“Fantastic Development”

Sachin Gupta, the founder of UAE based educational institute Knowledge Planet, said that it is a “fantastic development” for several parents in the country. “With IIT opening up right here in the UAE, it will bring immense joy to parent and student communities as they can complete their higher studies right here in UAE, thereby allowing families a few extra years of staying together,” he said.

He also said that he had high hopes for the quality of the institute when it opened in the country. “Some of the key aspects of the success of IITs in India are their exceptional faculty members and research and lab facilities available for the student community,” he said.

“It remains to be seen when and not if the IITs will be able to match the same standards of their parent institutions. IITs have a huge brand and it might take some time, but they will not compromise on the high standards they are known for, and their global centres will be no less, eventually if not immediately.”

Another educator, Alka Malik said that the IIT in UAE will be preferred by several students and parents. “It is definitely likely to fuel the desire of students wishing to enroll there,” she said. “Also, parents would undoubtedly prefer to send a high ability child to a local IIT maintaining its high quality, if they had that choice. This is on the assumption that the price points are not so significantly high that it becomes a limiting factor.”

Currently there are 23 IITs in India, which are located in various regions of the country offering undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate level programmes. The institute is considered to be one among the best engineering colleges in the world and noted alumni include Alphabet Inc. CEO Sunder Pichai and Indian industrialist N. R. Narayana Murthy.


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