The first joint postgraduate program is expected to launch next year, with further courses developed in subsequent years, leaders agreed, as Birmingham’s vice-chancellor made a trip to the campus in Chennai.
The institutions have signed a collaborative “statement of intent” to explore data science, energy systems and biomedical engineering study, while the joint research fund will support academics and researchers and potential research partnerships in the same areas.
“The University of Birmingham is a global ‘civic’ university and committed to forging meaningful education and research partnerships in India,” vice-chancellor and principal of University of Birmingham, Adam Tickell said.
“These innovative joint postgraduate programs between IIT Madras and University Birmingham will offer students the opportunity to pursue a world-class education at globally leading institutions in two countries, and to have their educational achievements recognised by both.”
“Students will have their educational achievements recognised by both institutions”
Under the agreement, students will study in Birmingham and Chennai before receiving a single degree awarded by both universities.
The partners noted that the arrangement is the first partnership at masters level between any IIT and a UK Russell Group University.
Dean of Global Engagement at IIT Madras, Raghunathan Rengaswamy, suggested it is “a great beginning for what we hope will be a long and fruitful association with University of Birmingham”.
The joint masters partnership comes after the governments of India and the UK announced a “landmark” agreement to recognise each other’s higher education qualifications in July, building on a 2021 partnership on education.
Transnational education expert Eduardo Ramos previously said that the recognition of qualifications could be a “significant step” towards the development of dual and joint degrees and twinning agreements.
Some 22 UK universities travelled to India earlier this year to explore joint, dual degrees and other modes of TNE.
In January 2018, the University of Birmingham established its India Institute, aiming to “deliver impactful research, create innovative education initiatives and extend the University’s influence across the globe”.
The latest agreement with IIT Madras builds on a memorandum of understanding signed in February 2022.