Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) has seen over 60% growth in the number of exchange students. From 90 students in 2011 to 145 in 2016, the rise in number of foreign students is the indication of improved international relations and global impetus of the institute.
Presence of international students and faculties has helped the institute to improve its global ranking significantly in the surveys. IITM is also working on recruiting fulltime faculty members and increasing its research collaborations with foreign universities.
At present, the institute has exchange students and visiting faculty that account for the international crowd on the campus. “The student exchange programme works in two ways. One, where the student visits a foreign university to pursue one semester (four months), and in exchange a student from that foreign university visits IITM,” said, R Nagarajan, dean, international and alumni affairs. “The second possibility is for a student to visit IITM for research collaboration,” he added.
Majority of the international students are from European countries such as Germany, France, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy and Denmark. “We also have students from Asian countries (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia). Countries like Australia, Zimbabwe, Sweden and Finland have been active in sending their students of late,” Nagarajan said.
“Under the full time programmes, we have received two students (both Korean) who are doing their B Tech. From 2011 to 2016, students from Ethiopia, Romania and Mauritius have taken up M Tech, MS and PhD at IITM,” he said.
“The number of full time professors teaching on the campus is 10. The institute is also hosting nine visiting international faculty members who have come from Germany, Taiwan, the UK and USA. Recently, the MHRD had announced that IITs would be encouraged to recruit more foreign faculty members. IITM is in the process of implementing it,” said Nagarajan.
“We would invite potential faculty members for a visit to get an understanding of the campus atmosphere before bringing them on board. And, about the salary, with the implementation of the recommendations of the seventh pay commission, we will be able to match the salary offered by most countries,” said Nagarajan.