IIT to open its first overseas campus in Tanzania

IIT to open its first overseas campus in Tanzania

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is all set to open its first-ever overseas campus in Tanzania's Zanzibar in October this year. The new IIT will come up under the name IIT Madras.

Initially, the institute will operate with a batch of 50 undergraduate and 20 postgraduate students. For the first year, the institution will offer Data Science and Artificial Intelligence courses. However, the fee structure remains undecided as of now, as mentioned in a report by IANS.Hussein Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar, is looking forward to this project and has made it possible for IIT to begin operations this year by giving the necessary premises. He has guaranteed IIT the autonomy it needs, to ensure that the quality is maintained. Nonetheless, there are a few concerns about how IIT would maintain its standards in the new country.

Not having a similar reputation in the Tanzanian region, there is a danger that the institution will not get the students it expects. Additionally, without the people and infrastructure that give it its institutional identity, the question of the overall experience becomes a big question mark, as per the report. But the IIT has come up with a three-fold solution for these issues.

Firstly, by operating under the Madras umbrella, IIT proposes to provide Zanzibar with the same international recognition that IIT Madras enjoys. This suggests that students from Zanzibar will eventually have access to the same benefits enjoyed by students in Madras, including opportunities for internships at the world's top companies.

Secondly, admission will follow a three-way process that includes an entrance exam, a one-month preparation programme, and an individual interview. In India, IITs rely heavily on entrance exams to recruit candidates as the only practical approach.

Thirdly, to provide a comparable student experience, without the people, infrastructures, and systems available in India, the professors admit that that is a challenge that must be approached gradually, giving examples of the humble beginnings of other IITs in India. The initial instructors for Zanzibar will be from India, but the long-term objective is to train a cadre of IIT-trained local instructors to carry the mantle.

It may be noted that 50 scholarships have been available to Tanzanian students this year to attend Master's and PhD programmes at various IITs in India. A permanent campus for the IIT in Zanzibar is expected to be completed within the next three to five years.

IIT Zanzibar will be one of three IIT campuses outside India, with the others located in Abu Dhabi and Kuala Lumpur. Each of these campuses will be designed to serve its respective region, with Zanzibar serving the greater East African region. The establishment of IIT in Tanzania marks a significant step in strengthening the ties between India and Africa, as per IANS.