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IIT Madras to open first campus in East Africa

One of India’s most prestigious institutions, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, will open a campus on the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania later this year as the country moves to embrace transnational education.

Photo: IIT Madras

Details of possible tuition fees have not yet been made public

The campus will be opened in the Indian ocean island in October this year and will open with 70 students including 50 undergraduates and 20 master’s degree students.

The branch, the very first campus abroad and African campus from state owned IIT Madras, will initially offer programs in data science and artificial intelligence before adding others in the coming years, according to Tanzania media reports.

However, details of possible tuition fees for the courses have not yet been made public.

Soon after the African branch opens, it is slated to be followed by a few others in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

“Zanzibar’s historical significance as a trade hub or its current attempt to reposition itself as an international business centre may have influenced the decision,” Tanzanian columnist and technology consultant Charles Makakala said.

“In any case, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work: Zanzibar offers both the tranquillity of a relatively small town, allowing students to maintain focus on their studies, and access to the rich Swahili culture, which would enrich their experiences.”

“I don’t see why it wouldn’t work”

Earlier on, IIT Madras director V Kamakoti had confirmed that in February, a team of five professors from the institution had visited Tanzania and held discussions with Tanzanian officials on final plans for starting the campus.

The news comes in the wake of reports that India was targeting Africa as one of the places where it planned to open branches for some of its universities in its bid for more international students.

Africa was also part of the country’s larger plans for using TNE as part of its internationalisation strategy.

It also comes hot on the heels of another Indian institution, the National Forensic Sciences University setting up India’s first ever foreign campus in Uganda last month, in response to what it said is high demand for forensic science programs from African students.

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