IIT Madras opens first international campus in Zanzibar
Zanzibar President and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council Hussein Ali Mwinyi inaugurated The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras Zanzibar on Monday at the Zanzibar campus in the presence of Tanzanian officials, Indian dignitaries, faculty and students.
The IIT Madras Zanzibar is the first ever international campus of an IIT. The historic initiative by the Indian government was undertaken to take the top-quality education system of India to international arenas.
According to an official statement by IIT Madras, in the first batch at IIT Madras Zanzibar, women comprise 40 per cent of the total students admitted to the BS and MTech programs in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
"The existing campus in Bweleo district, located approximately 15 km south of Zanzibar Town, is equipped with international amenities designed to meet the current needs of students. A permanent campus will be built soon jointly by the Government of Zanzibar and the Government of India," the statement said.
Initially, the institute will offer BS and MTech programs, however, in the coming year, it will offer more academic programs in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.
In the first batch at IITM Zanzibar, students from Zanzibar, mainland Tanzania, Nepal and India have been admitted with 40 per cent of women students.
In terms of facilities provided at the institute, the campus will have the ability to accommodate students in dorms and provide various facilities. "Arrangements for offices, classrooms and auditoriums have been meticulously made. Dining facilities and a dispensary are available on campus, and sports facilities are being planned," the statement said.
The programs offered at IITM Zanzibar are open to students of all nationalities, including Indians.
Along with Data Science and AI, students will be able to access other interesting opportunities as well.
"Apart from a comprehensive curriculum that includes all aspects of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, students will have access to several interesting opportunities during their course of study. These include study abroad/semester exchange programs with IIT Madras' partner institutions in the UK and Australia, among other countries, internships with various relevant companies and a chance to meet some of the course requirements at the IIT Madras campus in Chennai, India," it further said.
The classes for the first Academic Year (2023-24) commenced in October 2023.
V Kamakoti, Director of IIT-Madras, said, "Today, as we inaugurate the IIT Madras Zanzibar Campus, we embark on a journey of knowledge and innovation that transcends borders. Together, we will nurture excellence, foster collaboration and inspire generations to dream beyond horizons."
The campus has started its first semester with students from all across the globe, including Zanzibar, India, Nepal and Tanzania Mainland.
As many as 45 students have been admitted for a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Data Science and AI and a two-year Master of Technology degree in Data Science and AI.
Director-in-charge of the Zanzibar campus, IIT Madras, and Dean of the School of Engineering and Science, Preeti Aghalayam said, "It has been an honour to bring IITM's academic excellence to this beautiful island of Zanzibar. We have started on such a wonderful and positive note with a lovely campus and amazing students. We are grateful to President Mwinyi for the faith reposed in us, and look forward to scaling great heights at IITM Zanzibar."
Meanwhile, Raghunathan Rengaswamy, Dean (Global Engagement), IIT Madras, said, "The start of this campus in Zanzibar is a landmark moment for IIT Madras. We are extremely grateful for the incredible support extended by the Government and people of Zanzibar. We will strive to make this one of the pre-eminent institutions in the African region."
Moreover, the Indian government is also offering numerous scholarships for citizens of Tanzania/Zanzibar to study in various degree programs at IIT Madras.
One of the students Bachelor of Science, Ahlam Said Salim, shared her experience and said, "I see myself among the luckiest people being in this institute, this institute has a great techniques to provide knowledge and they build our confidence each day that we spent here, I feel very comfortable being here since we live like families together."
The Zanzibar campus of IIT Madras will leverage the wide expertise of IIT Madras faculty in interdisciplinary education, research and technological innovation, and is on an accelerated plan of development and growth.
With immense support from the local government, IITM Zanzibar is planned as a one-of-a-kind international campus.