The Indian Institute of Technology Madras became the first Indian Institute of Technology to set up an international campus, by launching a campus in Tanzania on Monday. India and the East African nation had recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
The Zanzibar Campus, IIT Madras, will be on Zanzibar Island, off the East African mainland and part of the Tanzanian republic. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, inaugurated the IIT Madras Zanzibar at an event held on Monday at the Zanzibar campus in the presence of Tanzanian officials, Indian dignitaries, faculty, and students.
This historic initiative is being undertaken as part of the Government of India’s endeavour to take the top-quality education system of India to international arenas. The existing campus in the 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.
Initially, the Institute will offer BS and MTech programmes in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. More academic programmes will be offered in the coming year. In the first batch at IITM Zanzibar, students from Zanzibar, mainland Tanzania, Nepal, and India have been admitted, with 40 per cent of the students being women.
The campus will have the capacity to accommodate students in dormitories and provide various facilities. Arrangements for offices, classrooms, and auditoriums have been made. Dining facilities and a dispensary are available on campus, and sports facilities are also being planned.
The programmes at IITM Zanzibar are open to students of all nationalities, including Indians. 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 programmes 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. Classes for the first Academic Year (2023-24) commenced in October 2023.
“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,” said V Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras.
The campus has started in its first semester with students from different countries including Zanzibar, India, Nepal, and Tanzania Mainland. A total of 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.
“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,” said Preeti Aghalayam, Dean of the School of Engineering and Science and Director-in-charge, Zanzibar campus.